Take care in hot weather

The Design Out Crime team from WM Police is emphasising the need to take care of belongings during the hot weather.

Their point is that thieves will grab any opportunity. In hot weather, they can get into a house through an open window when the owner is away or in the back garden. And if we’re enjoying a barbecue in the back garden, we probably won’t realise that somebody has got in through an open front window.

Unfortunately, they might not even need to get in. If laptops, phones, car keys and so on are left within reach of an open window or door, they can be stolen very quickly.

So the message from the Police is to make sure that our doors and windows are shut and locked if we’re not in the house. It may mean that the house is hotter than we’d like when we get back but better to be too hot than to lose valuables.

It’s also worth remembering that garden sheds often contain all the tools a thief needs to break in. Steps, ladders, spades that can be used as crowbars – the possibilities mean that sheds must be locked. If ladders have to be left outside, they need to be chained to a fixed point.

There’s more information here

When it comes to cars, always check that the doors really are locked after using the remote locking fob. And always lock the car, even if it’s only being left for a few minutes. For example, when paying for fuel, lock the car before going to pay. Finally, as always, lock items such as satnavs, handbags, laptop bags and so on out of sight.

There’s more advice here.

One point worth remembering is that this isn’t a campaign by the Police to make us all worried about theft. It’s more about taking care as we do in most areas of life. When we’re crossing the road, for example, we check to make sure we’re not going to get hit by a car. Now we’re being asked to be just as careful about our houses and cars.

Preventing burglaries

A recent meeting involving residents and representatives from West Midlands Police heard that the rate of burglaries in Kings Heath has fallen over the past month or so. However, residents were advised of the need to take action to protect themselves and their property:

  • If you’re going out for the evening, leave at least one light on. If possible, leave several lights on timers so they can be seen being switched on and off.
  • Don’t leave keys – especially car keys – within reach of your front door. Thieves have used long hooks to reach keys out of houses through letterboxes.
  • When you go out, make sure all doors and windows are secured. Criminals look for unoccupied homes with open windows and it’s amazing to see how small a window can be used by an adult to get into a house.
  • Think about how easy it is to get to the back of your house. If you have a side gate, put a bolt on it.
  • If you have tools in your garden shed, make sure the shed is locked when the tools aren’t being used. A spade or a fork can be used to break into a house.
  • Think about registering valuable items (wide-screen televisions, computers, jewellery, etc.) with the UK National Property Register.
  • If you’ve got foliage that screens your front doors or windows from the street, think about cutting it back so that anybody at the front of your house can be seen easily.
  • Think about outside security lighting so that anybody approaching your house will be very noticeable from the street.

If you do see anything suspicious, call 101 and tell the Police.

If a crime is actually in progress, call 999 immediately.