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21,000 homes checked during city’s biggest ever crime prevention operation

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A record-breaking burglary prevention campaign has come to a close, having ensured that tens of thousands of homes are safe from criminals.

21,000 homes checked during city’s biggest ever crime prevention operation

More than 90 per cent of houses checked in York as part of Operation Joypad were found to be secure, with police covering the equivalent of a street 34 miles long.

Joypad has become the city’s biggest-ever crime prevention operation, involving dozens of police officers, PCSOs, Special Constables, cadets and volunteers over the summer.

Since the start of May, the campaign has aimed to ensure York remains a no-go area for sneak-in burglars over the summer and into the future. Although York is a very safe city in which to live, crimes of opportunity tend to increase in the summer months, as homeowners leave windows and doors open, or spend time in back gardens in warm weather.

Operation Joypad drew to a close at the end of July, having visually and physically checked a grand total of 21,004 houses in York. That’s the equivalent of a typical residential street that is 34 miles long (average width of UK house 5.2 metres x 21,004 terraced houses ÷ 2 sides of street = street is 54,610 metres long = approximately 34 miles).

Of all the houses checked, 1,808 – or 8.6 per cent – were found to be insecure. In those cases, officers contacted the homeowner and provided suitable property security advice.

Inspector Lee Pointon, of York Police, said: “To a burglar, an unlocked door or an open window is an invitation. Taking advantage of the summer weather, opportunist thieves won’t hesitate to walk into your house and steal your laptop, phone, car keys and any other valuables they can get their hands on.

“Thankfully, a few simple security measures can deter sneak-in burglars. Keep doors and windows shut and locked, keep your bikes and garden tools under lock and key, and if you’re in the back garden, ensure any doors and windows out of sight from your position are secure.

“As the campaign went on, we were finding more and more secure properties, suggesting that homeowners were getting the message – a few extra seconds spent closing and locking doors and windows is far better than many hours dealing with the consequences of a burglary.

“I’d like to thank the many York residents who provided positive feedback during Operation Joypad, and invite anyone who feels they could benefit from further crime prevention advice to contact their local neighbourhood policing team.”

As part of Operation Joypad, police also used ‘dot peen’ security marking machines to mark hundreds of items of property, including tablets, phones and cycles. Visibly marked property acts as a deterrent to thieves, and if it is lost or stolen, helps the police identify its rightful owner and provide evidence vital in securing prosecutions.

To find out when your next property marking event is taking place in York, contact your local police team via 101, or follow them on Facebook, or Twitter at @snayorkcityeast, @snayorknorth or @snayorkwest – the service is promoted with the hashtag #whatisdotpeen.

For more information about home security and property marking, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity. You can also download the North Yorkshire Police interactive home security iBook, available for free on iPhone and iPad – just search for “Securing your home” on iTunes.

Last modified: August 26, 2016