Advice straight from the offender's mouth - Burglary Campaign (27 Mar 2015)

Convicted criminals have been enlisted by police to help combat burglary.

West Yorkshire Police has been working with convicted burglars to advise people on how they can take simple steps to avoid being a burglary victim this summer.

The Force's crime prevention campaign focuses on advice straight from the offender's mouth which people can take to make their homes less appealing to criminals.

Burglaries in the county are down with 269 fewer victims in the 12 months up to the end of March 2015 compared with the same period last year.

However, around a quarter of burglaries in West Yorkshire are a result of people simply entering a house through an unlocked door or window.

A series of crime prevention cards that give simple, straightforward advice and tips are to be distributed by Crime Prevention Officers and Neighbourhood Policing Teams across West Yorkshire and will also be available online.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Paul Money said: "Reducing burglary remains one of the Force's key priorities and we are committed to bringing offenders to justice.

"There are simple steps people can take to deter burglars from their homes, such as locking doors and windows and leaving a light on.

"Alongside the dedicated work of our Neighbourhood Policing Teams we would urge people to think about others in their communities, especially those who may not realise they have an increased risk of being a victim of a burglary offence. We can help them take positive steps to make their properties more secure, such as reminding people not to leave keys in the back of a locked door, and storing valuable items out of sight when they are not in use.

"Offering to keep an eye on your neighbour's home when they are on holiday by opening and closing blinds or curtains, and removing mail from the letterbox are also simple things that prevent a burglar from identifying if a property is unoccupied.

"Setting up or joining a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme is also an excellent way to work together to prevent the area being targeted."

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "I am pleased to be supporting this campaign to encourage people to make their homes safer and prevent burglary.

"The invasion of people's personal space and the theft of personal, all too often irreplaceable belongings, is an experience that makes people feel extremely vulnerable.

"While the police and partners continue to work hard to reduce the number of burglaries, there are some easy preventative steps that householders can take, to ensure their houses are as safe as possible.

"I know that burglary is a real concern for communities across West Yorkshire and I encourage you and your families to reduce the risk of this devastating crime happening to you."

Chris Joyce, Force Crime Prevention Offer said: "It's quite often the case that the little things make a real difference and that certainly can apply to reducing the opportunity for burglary to occur.  People don't necessarily have to spend money on additional security, using what they already have and making changes to their routine around the home will go a long way.

"People can have the best locks, alarms and lighting available, but leaving doors or windows unlocked and valuables on show create the opportunity that a burglar might just be looking for.

"Removing laptops completely out of sight, putting charger units for electronic items in the drawer rather than plugged in and on show, locking doors and removing the keys from the lock, securing tools away in the garage or shed after use and using the security that is already in place are all things that are cost free and could assist in making properties less attractive to burglars.

"I'll be running web chats on burglary prevention on April 13th and 27th, so it would be great to hear from people if they would like any additional advice on home security.  Both sessions will run from 19.00-20.00 and further details can be found on the Force website - www.westyorkshire.police.uk/onlinediscussions"

View crime prevention advice and the new postcards at www.westyorkshire.police.uk

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