Don't let the weather make your home or car hot property for thieves

Contributed by editor on Jul 04, 2006 - 11:37 PM


Your home or car could be hot property for opportunist criminals during the current heatwave, if left insecure. 

Kent Police is urging people not to leave unattended windows or doors open to help ensure property remains safe and secure while temperatures remain high. 

Open doors and windows can tempt thieves into your home or car and police are advising householders and motorists to follow a few simple measures to prevent a burglary or theft. 

'While the chance of being burgled is low in Kent, people should always ensure their home is kept secure. There have been occasions where homes have been broken into with thieves taking advantage of the warm weather,' said Acting Inspector John Merritt. 

'When it is hot people will obviously want to keep themselves and others who may be vulnerable to the heat in a cooler environment, but it is also important to keep your home, car and belongings secure,' he added. 

'Always make sure you don't leave windows open in unattended rooms and remember to close windows at night. Don't leave any valuables near to windows and never where they can be seen from the outside. 

'Householders should also be careful not to leave doors open whilst they are in another part of their house or garden.  Ensure that doors are locked and secure and make sure areas of your home that are unattended for any length of time are not accessible by intruders. 

He continued: 'Motorists should ensure their cars are secure and any property kept out of sight. Close windows, the sunroof and lock doors whenever your vehicle is left unattended, even though it may be tempting to leave these open in hot weather. Never leave your children or pets unaccompanied in your vehicle.' 

Keeping your vehicle secure doesn't just apply in towns and villages but also if you park in remote rural areas or beauty spots to enjoy the countryside or seaside. Do not leave any valuables in vehicles if at all possible and certainly not o­n display. 

By taking a few simple home security precautions the opportunities for criminals will be greatly reduced: 

·        Always lock all your doors and windows. Don't leave unattended areas of your home or garden accessible to thieves.

·        Never leave keys in hiding places outside your home – burglars know where to look.

·        Don't leave property in a porch, even if the door is usually shut.

·        Don't leave expensive items o­n windowsills where they could be seen from the street. 

·        Property mark your valuables.  You can use a UV pen or etching tool to mark property with your house number and postcode.  This will make it easy to identify and will act as a huge deterrent to thieves.

·        Where possible fit an alarm.

·        Be extra vigilant when enjoying the good weather outdoors. Areas that you leave unattended and not secure for even the shortest time can attract unwelcome attention.

·        Ensure your car is securely locked when leaving it unattended. Make sure you close all the windows, doors and the sunroof even when it is tempting to leave them open in the hot weather. Don't leave valuables in your vehicle and never leave children or pets unaccompanied in a vehicle.

·        If you are going away o­n holiday or leaving your home for any length of time, use timers o­n your lights (they are inexpensive and easy to set up).  Also, cancel your milk for the duration of your absence and ask a friend or neighbour to collect your post so it doesn't build up o­n your doormat. 

To report a crime contact Kent Police o­n 01303 850055.  If you have information about any crime you can also call Crimestoppers o­n 0800 555 111.