10 ways to stop burglars sneaking into your homes this summer - here are North Yorkshire Police's top tips
People across Scarborough, Whitby and Filey are being urged not to let thieves sneak into their homes this summer.
Although North Yorkshire has one of the lowest rates of burglaries in the UK, police say thefts can increase during the summer months as thieves gain access to properties through insecure doors and windows.
According to the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales, burglars got inside homes through an unlocked door 21 per cent of the time and through an open window 11 per cent of the time.
Officers say locking windows and doors, making sure all valuables are out of sight and tidying away tools can significantly reduce the chances of a home being broken into.
Police Investigator Dave Pegg, who is one of the force’s Burglary Coordinators, said: "It’s been a strange 2020 so far and understandably, people are excited to make the most of being able to see friends and family again, spending time outside and even going away.
"However, with this, burglars may take advantage of people leaving their homes empty, especially in the warmer weather.
“Any burglary can be devastating for the victims – or, at the very least, cause huge inconvenience – so it’s important that residents do everything possible to keep the burglars at bay.
"Good-quality doors, windows and locks are excellent deterrents, but there’s even more you can do to stop burglars in their tracks."
Investigator Pegg has shared ten steps to improve home security this summer
* Keep them out of view: Make sure all valuables and keys, including car keys, are out of sight and away from the view of windows and the letterbox – remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox.
* Keep them locked: Leaving ground floor windows, doors and patio doors open in the summer can give burglars the perfect opportunity. If you are upstairs, out of the room, or in the garden, even just for a few minutes, keep them locked and help shut burglars out.
* Pay attention: Pay particular attention when you’re outside in your garden, as you may not be able to see or hear someone entering your home.
* Tidy away tools: Ensure sheds, garages and outbuildings are locked and secure at all times – tidy away power tools and garden equipment after you’ve used them, don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home.
* Burglar-proof your bikes: Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immovable object inside a locked shed or garage.
* Check access to windows: Burglars often target windows as they generally offer easier access than doors. Take a good look at your windows from the outside and remove potential access points where you can. Are there walls, bins or garden furniture that could be used to reach windows?
* Give burglars nowhere to hide: Burglars don’t want to be seen or heard and if they think they’ll be noticed by a neighbour or passer-by, they’ll probably move on. Cut back hedges at the front of your property to allow for a clear view over the top and don’t provide cover for anyone wishing to hide and make sure your security lights are working.
* Gates and fences: Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition, especially rear fencing and ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
* Going away or on holiday? Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property and leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied.
* Mark your property: Did you know North Yorkshire Police offer free property marking to all residents of North Yorkshire? Get your property marked and registered with their free property marking system
A message from the editor
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world.
The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive.
We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.
Jean MacQuarrie, Editor-in-Chief