As the nights draw in, New Forest residents are reminded to follow some simple tips to increase their home security.
This comes after four burglaries at insecure properties in New Milton over the weekend.
- Drake Close at around 2am on Monday 24 September. Entry was through an insecure front door. The suspects were disturbed by the occupants and nothing was stolen. Crime reference number - 44180359794.
- Earlswood Park between 7.10am and 3.30pm on Saturday 22 September. Entry was through an unlocked front door while the house was unoccupied. A statue and an iPod were taken. 44180358413.
- Miller Close between 8am and 8.10am on Saturday 22 September. Entry was through an unlocked front door. The resident disturbed the suspect – a small amount of alcohol was taken. 44180358232.
- Earlswood Park between 7am and 7.15am on Saturday 22 September. Entry was gained using a key on display through an open window. The suspect was disturbed by the occupant’s dog and nothing was stolen. 44180357932.
If you have any information about any of these incidents, please call 101 quoting the relevant crime reference number.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Here are some simple tips:
- Use timer switches (available from most DIY stores) to switch on lights, radios and television while you are away from the home to make it look and sound occupied.
- Ensure you shut and lock windows and doors when you return home and settle down for the evening.
- Ensure you have used padlocks on side gates to deny access to the rear of the property.
- Check your outside lighting is in working order (consider low level ambient light on a dusk to dawn sensor - this will activate even when you are not at home).
- After the summer, secure your garden tools and equipment in a locked and alarmed shed or garage for the winter so that they cannot be used to gain entry to your home. Shed alarms are not expensive and very easy to install.
- Mark your belongings with your house number and postcode, keep a list of any makes, models and serial numbers. Take photos of jewellery. Register your items for free at www.immobilise.com. Using this service will assist the police in returning property to the rightful owner should it be stolen.
- This is a good time to address your security - fit extra door and window locks. If you are feeling vulnerable or are elderly, ask for a free home safety and security survey by the Bobby Trust or call 0300 777 0157 for an appointment. A Bobby fitter will then be able to fit extra locks on your door and windows free of charge.
- Walk around your house and look in through the windows to see what a thief would see – is there anything of value that could motivate them to break in? Can you put these items somewhere else where they won’t be seen?