With the summer holidays fast approaching, police in Banbridge are urging residents to think about crime prevention.
With many people heading off, police will be adopting a proactive patrolling approach over the summer months but they also need the community to help protect themselves.
Crime prevention officer, Lisa Sherman, explained: “If you are fortunate enough to be getting away this summer, then do not forget to let police know that your house will be vacant, and remember to employ a few crime prevention measures before you go.
“Simple things like cutting the grass, cancelling the milk and newspapers and using time switches to turn on lights that would ordinarily be on in the house help to give your home that lived-in look and remember to set the burglar alarm as well.
“You should also arrange for a responsible person to collect your mail, particularly if you have a glass front door.
“Outside, ladders and tools should be locked away so that criminals cannot use them to break into your house. Sheds must have suitable door locks and the contents should be security marked against theft and should be secured separately within the shed which will make them more difficult to steal.”
The Crime Prevention Officer called on all members of the community to be vigilant.
She continued: “Everyone needs good neighbours, and if criminals know their every move is being watched, it is much harder for them to operate unnoticed. You are in the best position to know what is ordinary and what is out of the ordinary where you live, so tell police what you have seen. Reporting all suspicious activity promptly to the police is important and we welcome the opportunity to check out all reports of suspicious activity.
“And for those not heading away, we all know that in good weather, people enjoy spending more time out in their gardens. It is always tempting to leave doors and windows open on hot days, but sadly this is exactly what opportunist criminals are looking out for - you in the garden and easy access to your belongings. Make sure your house and garage are kept closed and locked when left unattended and do not leave any valuables in your vehicle.
“Remember that some people are also quite prepared to enter your house and steal what comes quickly to hand. To reduce the likelihood of this type of crime taking place, car keys, handbags and wallets should not be left where they can easily be seen or found, or within easy reach of an open window. Put them away properly in a safe place and if you have a burglar alarm set it.”
Anyone who would like crime prevention advice on this or any other subject can contact their nearest Crime Prevention Officer by telephoning 101, the police non-emergency number.
Caravan security advice
With the summer months upon us Crime Prevention Officers are advising anyone who owns or uses a caravan to take steps to protect their property and valuables.
Lisa Sherman, Crime Prevention Officer, said: “Caravans may be more vulnerable than houses but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your property secure.
“Many people will make the most of their caravans over the coming months and when they do, they may take equipment like televisions, and games consoles with them.
“Caravan owners should take a few practical crime prevention steps to reduce your chances of being a victim of crime.”
Anyone who would like further crime prevention advice on this or any other subject can contact their local crime prevention officer on the 101 non-emergency number.