Homes in Northallerton are that bit brighter and safer for the New Year, thanks to a police initiative.
More than 500 home safety packs have been delivered to households in the town and its surrounding villages.
The crime prevention information, and increased police patrols, are part of Operation Bright, which aims to make homes in the Hambleton district less vulnerable to crime.
Burglaries typically increase when evenings are darker. There were 23 burglaries in the Hambleton district in July 2018, compared with 34 in November. (Burglary includes crimes targeting both homes and non-residential properties such as businesses or outbuildings).
The initiative urges residents to ‘leave a light on’, by setting a timer switch when their home is unoccupied, and to take other simple crime prevention steps.
Sergeant Simon Wilson, of Hambleton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Operation Bright is a burglary reduction initiative using the theory that offenders target homes when they are in darkness, assuming they are unoccupied.
“By identifying homes in darkness and promoting the ‘leave a light on’ message, we can reduce a property’s vulnerability. Throughout the winter months we have been out on patrol delivering prevention packs in Northallerton and surrounding villages.”
Police volunteers supported officers and PCSOs from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team as they patrolled the area, identified any homes left in darkness, and delivered crime prevention packs.
Between October and December 2018, 252 Operation Bright packs were delivered to homes in Northallerton, 108 to properties in Brompton, and dozens more to rural villages – taking the total number of packs delivered so far to 519.
Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary. Here are a few tips:
- Lock your 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 and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
- Install a visual burglar alarm (as part of a suite of prevention measures – a burglar alarm on its own will not prevent entry to your home)
- Install good outside lighting
- Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
- Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
- Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
- Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immovable 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
- Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
- Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property, for example by trimming high hedges
- Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise
- Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
- Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
Store any high-value items (such as jewellery, passports) in a properly-secured safe or bank vaultLast modified: December 28, 2018