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The following is a Police Connect message.
Dark, winter nights unfortunately bring with them an increase in home burglaries and Suffolk Police are urging members of the public to boost their home security as the clocks go back this weekend.
To stop the seasonal peak, police are reminding home owners to keep themselves, their family and their property safe by following some simple crime prevention advice to deter thieves from their homes.
Chief Inspector Stuart Grimsey said: "Leaving your house in complete darkness is a clear sign to burglars that it may be empty which, with the sun setting before most people get home from work during the winter, is an open invitation to opportunistic thieves.
"If no one is going to be home when darkness falls, consider leaving a light on or invest in a timer so that your lights or radio come on automatically at certain times to give the impression that someone is in. There are also systems that combine with smart phone apps, which allow you to operate electronic equipment in your home from anywhere in the world.”
In addition to timers, Suffolk Police recommend investing in other forms of technology.
Chief Inspector Grimsey continues: "Consider installing alarm systems, CCTV as well as doorbell camera technology to further secure your home. In March this year our officers arrested and charged a burglar who was caught on doorbell camera technology attempting to break into a home in Bury St Edmunds on two separate occasions. The high-definition footage of him was indisputable and he was recently jailed for four years so there is real value in using technology such as cameras to help keep yourself and your community safe from crime, and they don’t have to be expensive.”
In this age of social media, Suffolk Police are also reminding members of the public not to advertise their homes are empty on social media by ‘checking in’ to other places or publicising that they are on holiday.
Stuart Grimsey concludes: "Simple steps such as ensuring all the windows and doors are locked when you go out, as well as keeping valuables out of sight and away from letterboxes – or anywhere else that is easily accessible, are key to helping prevent burglaries.
"Remember, if you see any suspicious behaviour contact us immediately. Don’t leave it a few days; ring us as soon as possible because that gives us the greatest chance of making an arrest or preventing a crime taking place.”
If you notice any suspicious activity or believe a crime is in progress you are urged to call the police immediately on 999. If you feel that you have information about crimes being committed you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more advice on what you can do to protect your home this winter, visit: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z
The clocks go back one hour this weekend at 2am on Sunday 29 October.
Help us keep our communities safe.
Police advice on a variety of subjects can be accessed via https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice
To report something, or to otherwise contact Police, use the link http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us
To report something anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Alternatively call 101 for non-urgent matters.
Always call 999 in emergencies, or if an immediate police response is required.
Police Connect Team