Security boost despite burglary drop

68 thousand homes in part of the Thames Valley are getting leaflets on security - DESPITE the number of burglaries in the area going down.

Heart's been told 80 fewer crimes have been reported in West Berkshire so far this year - that's down 38 per cent on the year before.

Anthony Stansfeld, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Community Safety said: "Everybody loves the summer. Unfortunately, this includes burglars too as the increased numbers open doors and windows during the warmer weather dramatically increases the number of opportunities for them."

A recent victim of a burglary in Calcot, where a car was stolen said: "Since becoming a victim of burglary I have taken a number of security measures to protect my family and my home."

"The most important thing is that you lock your doors and don’t become complacent."

Heart speaks to Anthony Stansfeld here.

Romy Freiburghaus, Crime Reduction Adviser at Thames Valley Police said: "Most burglars just look for an easy opportunity to break into someone’s home so leaving your doors unlocked, even while you’re in the garden or upstairs, is taking a risk. They can be in and out of your property in a matter of seconds but are far less likely to smash a locked window as the noise attracts attention."

Top tips to protect your home when you're away;

Use automatic timers for lights and radio
Lock all doors and windows – don’t forget gates too
Set burglar alarm if you have one
Cancel milk and papers
Ask a friendly neighbour to keep an eye on your property
Don’t put your home address on luggage labels
Lock important documents away
Don’t broadcast your holiday plans – you never know who is listening

When you are at home:

Keep all hedges and bushes tidy as they provide cover for a burglar
Don’t leave valuable items where they can be seen
Lock ladders and gardening tools away after use
If you are out in the garden, can you see who’s climbing in through that window you left open? Remember, all windows and doors.

For more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of burglary, please contact your local Crime Reduction Advisor on 0845 8 505 505. You can also report any suspicious activity via the same number, or in an emergency 999.