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Holiday home security plea after York burglary arrests

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Police in York are urging holiday home owners to take extra precautions to ensure their properties are secure.

Officers from the city’s Neighbourhood Policing Team are on hand to offer expert advice and guidance to anyone concerned about home security.

The warning follows an incident in which a number of suspects were arrested on suspicion of burglary, after city centre flats were entered and damaged.

Sergeant Nick Plumb, of York City Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Our city is a great place to visit, not least because it is extremely safe and welcoming. However, that means there are a large number of rental properties, which are typically more vulnerable to crime. The incident earlier this week reinforces why security measures are so important.”

On one well-known holiday property rental website, there are more than 300 flats listed as available to rent in York. Most burglaries occur when a property is left empty, and holiday homes are particularly vulnerable as they may not be occupied all year round.

Sgt Plumb added: “It’s really important for anyone who owns a holiday home or flat in the city to take extra steps to make sure it is secure at all times. These properties are usually equipped to a high standard, and guests may bring expensive gadgets and jewellery with them, meaning they are attractive to thieves. And if you don’t live nearby, it’s hard to keep an eye out for suspicious activity – with guests coming and going regularly, neighbours may not know who is authorised and who isn’t.

“The most important advice I can offer is to keep the keys to your property secure. Never hide keys for guests under a doormat or a plant pot, as thieves will know exactly where to look. Instead, consider a key safe or a smart lock controlled via a phone. All windows should be closed when your property is unattended, and windows fitted with key-operated locks. And never label keys with the address, in case they are lost or stolen.

“In addition, consider fitting an alarm, CCTV cameras, security lighting, and motion detectors that alert you when a door is opened. You can also use wi-fi light bulbs or timer switches to give the impression someone is at home.

“Neighbourhood Policing Team officers and PCSOs in York can offer expert security and crime prevention advice. We’ll be happy to help anyone who would like to speak to us about the security of their property.”

Contact your Neighbourhood Policing Team by calling North Yorkshire Police on 101, or visiting www.northyorkshire.police.uk/neighbourhoods. You can also follow the York City team at www.twitter.com/nptyorkcity and www.facebook.com/yorkcitypolice

Further crime prevention advice, including technical information on appropriate locks, windows and doors, is available at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity

Twelve people aged between 14 and 17 were arrested on the evening of Monday 17 December, on suspicion of burglary, following an incident in which a building in York city centre was entered, and damage caused to three flats inside. Equipment such as beds and wardrobes had been damaged, and some items stolen.

The suspects have been released on bail while police enquiries into the incident continue.

Last modified: December 19, 2018