Police warning over crime in winter months

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NOTTINGHAMSHIRE residents are urged by police to make it as difficult as possible for burglars by taking a few simple precautions during the darker autumn and winter months.

Sam Hancock, head of Nottinghamshire Police’s Pre-Crime Unit, said: “The summer months make it difficult for thieves and burglars as they can be easily seen in the light of day. People will have noticed the mornings and evenings drawing in much earlier over the last few weeks, and this is going to be much more noticeable after the clocks go back this weekend.

“Thieves are opportunist and they won’t think twice about capitalising on dark mornings and evenings to carry out their crimes under the cover of darkness.”

Drawing the curtains or closing blinds can help make a difference, especially when coupled with leaving a light and radio on. Ensure that valuables such as laptops, mobile phones, handbags and keys are not left visible through doors or windows, even if you are home.

Miss Hancock added: “When going out, make it look like you are at home. Use inexpensive timer switches to make lights come on or leave a radio playing. Using low energy light bulbs is a cheap and effective way of leaving a light on without worrying about the cost. Where possible also invest in security lights and set a burglar alarm, as this can be a very effective deterrent.”

Thieves commit a third of burglaries by getting inside through an unlocked door or reaching in through an open window.

She said: “It only takes a couple seconds to lock your door, and this prevents someone from walking in uninvited. Some insurance policies will not pay out if a property is left unlocked and this can be extremely distressing as well as costly.

“I also advise people to register valuable items on www.immobilise.com, a free property register that increases the chance of any stolen property being returned.

“And consider marking your valuables to deter thieves with products such as SelectaDNA, UV pens, SmartWater or preferably visible marking products such as SelectaMARK or Cremark.”

For more information on property marking, contact the Pre Crime Unit on 101 extension 800 3011 or email pre.crime@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk.