Published: Monday, 10th July 2017

Summer is good news for burglars, with the hot weather bringing more opportunities for them to break in or sneak into properties and steal valuables.

To help make it harder for the burglar, the Harrogate Community Safety Hub is advising residents of a few simple measures they can take.

With the good weather here, more time is spent in the back garden enjoying the sun - but forgetting to lock the front door makes it easy for a sneak burglar to be in and out of the house with valuables in a matter of minutes.

Windows, too, can be used to gain entry, so it's best to keep them closed if nobody's around.

Other, simple measures that really can help prevent a burglary are:

  • carry out a security audit of your home. Take a look at your property and see if there is a way you could get in without using a key. If you can, a burglar can
  • always keep doors and windows locked when you leave home. Check them just before you go out
  • lock your shed/garage with a good quality lock
  • use an outside light with a motion sensor
  • consider fitting a burglar alarm
  • don't tell everyone on social media when you're going to be away on holiday
  • when you're out, make it look like you're in - use light timer switches
  • don't leave signs that you are out - such as parcels on the doorstep, or post and newspapers in the letterbox
  • when you are in, make sure doors and windows which are not visible to you are closed and locked

The Community Hub is also asking everyone to be a good neighbour - if you see anything suspicious, report it to the Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Sergeant Ben Ralston is with Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing Team. He said:

“Already this month, we've seen a number of burglaries in the district. Many burglaries are due to forced entry break-ins, but there will be some which could have been avoided by taking a few simple measures.

“We want to take this opportunity to remind residents to remain vigilant, keep doors and windows locked during the daytime, and do everything they can to make it as hard as possible for the would-be burglar.

“Property marking allows the police to identify stolen property which can both assist with detecting crime and prosecuting perpetrators, and also allows police to return recovered property to its rightful owner.

“If enough people make use of this service, data from other force areas has demonstrated that this can lead to a marked reduction in instances of burglary as perpetrators turn their attention to softer targets.

“If you would like to have your property marked please email Harrogate Police at SNAHarrogate@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk and we will arrange for a police volunteer to attend and security mark valuable property”.

There are more security tips on the North Yorkshire Police website at northyorkshire.police.uk/staying-safe/home-security.

Neighbourhood watches can bring neighbours together to create strong, active communities which can help prevent and detect crime. Anyone interested in joining their local watch scheme - or creating a new one - can get more information at www.ourwatch.org.uk.

To get a free burglary pack containing information and advice email community.safety@harrogate.gov.uk.