THE POLICE are urging homeowners to protect their properties after three burglaries in Diggle in two nights.
In an email to residents, the Oldham borough police team explained: “There has been three burglaries in the Diggle area over the past two nights.
“At two of the properties the owners were away on holiday. The offenders have gained access by smashing their way through patio / rear doors.”
“Could I please remind you all to make your properties look occupied when you are out.”
Attached to the email was a document full of helpful advice for residents with top tips on how to keep their properties safe.
The document claims: “Homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures.
“Good window locks and strong deadlocks can make a big difference. Find out about a few effective steps you can take to secure your home.”
It lists top tips residents can do to prevent burglary:
- lock doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden
- hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight
- install a visual burglar alarm
- install good outside lighting
- leave radios or lights in your house on a timer
- make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
- store valuable items (including passports, driving licences and bank statements) out of view
- hide cash and wallets away
- secure bikes by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
- keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
- If you live in a building that has a shared entrance, be careful about ‘buzzing’ people in or holding the door open for strangers.
- Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place, such as under a flowerpot or doormat, or behind a loose brick. Burglars will also check the garage or shed for spare keys.
In most burglaries, the criminals broke into the house or flat through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. So make sure your doors are strong and secure. Consider fitting a bar for extra strength; a locksmith can advise you on how best to do it.
Glass panels on doors are particularly vulnerable. If you have one on your door you could replace it with laminated glass, which is stronger. You can also buy a film in a DIY store that you can stick over the glass to make it harder to break.
Home security and DIY shops sell inexpensive, key-operated locks to fit most kinds of windows. Fit window locks with keys to all downstairs windows and those upstairs that are easy to reach.
If you are fitting new doors or windows, make sure they are certified to British Standard BS7950 (for windows) or PAS 24-1 (for doors).
And the document warns people to be aware of ‘distraction burglars’, known as bogus callers, who will distract your attention in order to get into your home to steal your money or belongings.
If anyone you don’t know turns up at your door, you should always ask to see their identification before letting them in. Only let someone into your home when you are absolutely sure they are genuine.
And it suggests residents can join neighbourhood watch schemes, such as Saddleworth Home Watch, to help keep your street safer.
By working with neighbours to look out for each other’s property, you can make burglars’ work much harder.
For more information about Saddleworth Home Watch, contact chair Royce Franklin: 01457 873248.