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3 July 2013, 08:18 | Updated: 3 July 2013, 09:19
Police in Peterborough are urging residents to keep their windows and doors secure following an increase in burglaries.
There were 10 reported burglaries last week, four of which were at properties where windows or doors had been left unsecured.
In response, police have upped patrols in affected areas and officers across the city will be looking out for homes which have been left vulnerable.
Where they find windows or doors open they will leave a postcard which explains exactly why the home was at risk.
Detective Sergeant Dave Taylor, from the burglary squad, said: "Reported burglary is at its lowest level in years and we are
working hard to maintain this.
However, we also need residents to do their bit by making it more difficult for burglars and reporting any suspicious activity.
There is a temptation to leave windows and doors open at this time of year but it can also be an open invitation to a would-be burglar."
There were 48 domestic burglaries in both May and June this year - a reduction of more than 30 per cent compared to last
As well as keeping windows and doors secured, residents can also reduce the risk of becoming a victim by:
Keeping your private life private. Unless you close the curtains and blinds, anyone outside can see what you are doing and what property is in the room. They can see in, but you can see almost nothing outside.
If you will not be in until after dark, try asking a friend or neighbour to close your curtains and turn on the lights. Use timer switches to turn on lights, radios or televisions to make the house seem occupied.
Fit some form of outside lighting, particularly to cover the front door, which allows you to see the caller before you open the door. A door viewer, or peep-hole, can be fitted if there is no suitable window.
Lights can create a safe corridor for you from the road or footpath to your front door or from your door to the garage or shed. External lights fitted with passive infrared sensors (which will turn on the light when someone moves within the area) or with dusk to dawn sensors (which automatically turn the light on when it starts to get dark and off in daylight), will illuminate your property and reduce the safe area for the burglar.
By their very nature, garden sheds can be difficult to totally secure. Fit good locks, bolts and hinges. Any items stored in the shed should be connected to each other using a steel cable, a chain or anything which makes taking just one item very difficult. Old net curtains can be fitted to windows to obstruct anyone trying to look into the shed.
Ensure garages with an internal door to your property are kept locked.
Homeowners are urged to check their home insurance policies to ensure their property meets the security standards required. Insurance companies often refuse to pay out if properties do not meet these standards or are left unsecured.
Anyone with information about the burglaries should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.