Advice and information from the Police

Burglaries

More than a third of reported residential burglaries in April and May this year were as a result of an insecure door or window and Suffolk Police are urging residents to keep windows and doors locked to prevent becoming an ‘easy’ target for thieves during the summer months.

Of the 185 burglaries reported to police over the two months, 65 were due to a lack of security. This compares to 72 out of 170 reported in the same period last year which represents a 7% decrease in the proportion of burglaries where access was due to insecurities.

Detective Superintendent Andy Smith said: "Whilst we have seen a slight drop in insecure home burglaries, the summer months are popular for thieves as more of us spend more time outdoors. It’s important that we all continue to take security seriously and lock up – even if you’re in another area of the house or in the garden.

"Thieves are opportunist and operate quickly. Typically, they will look for the easy option by looking for gaps in security and are often not afraid to try door locks. If they see an easy way to enter a property and steal something valuable, sadly, they’ll take it so I would urge people not to leave valuable items such as laptops and jewellery in view of windows.

"Remember to keep garages and outbuildings secure too as burglars look for utensils to help them break into homes. Be neighbourly by looking out for your local community and always report any suspicious activity to police. If you believe a burglary to be in progress always dial 999.”

Follow the advice below to help keep your home safe:

LOCK 
• Lock all doors and remove the keys before leaving the house. 
• Keep front doors locked even when you are at home and especially if you are in the back garden. 
• Close all windows fully before you leave the house, lock downstairs windows and remove the keys. 
• Use window limiters to allow air in instead of keeping windows fully open, even when you’re at home. 
• Install window locks on upstairs windows that can be easily accessed by a flat roof. 
• Lock back gates using a sturdy lock such as a closed shackle padlock to no less than CEN 3-4 security grade or 5 lever lock. 

LIGHT 
• Make your home look lived in – use timer switches if you’re not home.
• ‘Dusk-to-dawn’ sensored security lighting is a cheap, low cost way of making sure the front of your home or shed/outbuilding is well-lit. 
• Visible burglar alarms can make burglars think twice; get specialist advice and consult your insurance company. 
• Hedging and shrubs to the front of your property should be pruned to no higher than 1m and trim trees up from the ground to 2m. This will allow a clear line of sight across your property and will stop the garden being used as a hiding place. 

HIDE 
• Keep your valuables, jewellery, cash, passport and deeds to your property in a safe. 
• Never leave spare keys in an open place. Be aware, burglars know all the usual hiding places so never leave a spare key under the doormat or under a garden gnome.
• Keep dustbins and wheelie-bins away from fencing/gates as these can be used by thieves to climb into windows or used to escape. 
• Make sure valuables are property marked. Take photographs and keep a note of any serial numbers. 
• Don’t leave equipment and tools lying around that can be used by burglars to break into your home, such as hammers, shovels or gardening tools. Keep ladders locked away and out of sight. 

For more security advice visit https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z


Drink & Drugs Driving Campaign

Police in Suffolk will be targeted motorists who drive under the influence of drink or drugs as part of a month-long campaign.    

The campaign, which started on Thursday 1 June and lasts until 30 June and will see officers from the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit breathalysing any driver who is stopped due to concerns over the manner of their driving, a vehicle defect or anyone involved in a collision.  

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the roads policing unit, said: "This is an offence we target all year round but the summer campaign gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers driving under the influence can have, that a minority of motorists still chose to ignore.    

"Drink or drug driving impairs your judgement, making your reactions slower, therefore increasing the chance of being involved in a collision.” The campaign will involve targeted roadside activities by roads policing officers with support from uniformed colleagues across the county.  

During last year’s campaign (2016) 113 motorists were caught drink or drug driving in Suffolk.  

Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "As the weather improves and the barbeques are dusted off, I welcome this timely campaign to remind drivers not to drink or take drugs and drive.
"It beggars belief that despite the obvious dangers, too many drivers still take to the road under the influence of drink or drugs.
"All drivers need to understand that drink or drug driving risks lives and the lives of others, it is grossly irresponsible and selfish.
"I hope that slowly but surely the message is getting through, this cavalier attitude to safety is completely unacceptable and I urge drivers to take heed. Sadly too many drivers have still not learnt the lesson – drink driving kills.”

By Anne Henderson on June 9th, 2017