Wiltshire Police is urging all homeowners to make sure they secure their property after a spike in the number of insecurity burglaries in Swindon.
Since the beginning of May, there have been 16 reported burglaries which have occurred as a direct result from a door or window being left unlocked.
In addition to the insecurity burglaries, there have also been 46 reported thefts from motor vehicles within Swindon since the start of May –many of which are as a direct result of the vehicle being left unlocked.
Acting Detective Sergeant Gemma Vinton of the Swindon Priority Crime Team said: “We live in one of the safest counties in the country, with a low burglary rate. However, opportunists can strike anywhere and it is important that people heed advice to prevent themselves becoming victims of crime.
“There are very simple steps that people can take to protect their property, the most basic of these is to make sure you lock your doors and windows.
“Leaving your house or car door unlocked could be seen as an open invitation to thieves as the effort to steal on their part is minimal.
“I would appeal to people to make sure they are locking up their property when they are out or asleep, especially with the summer months approaching as many people might forget to close windows or doors.
“I would also ask that any neighbours who see anything suspicious going on in their local area to contact Wiltshire Police immediately.”
Residents can prevent themselves becoming victims of such crime by:
• Locking front and back doors when going out and not leaving accessible windows open in unoccupied rooms, no matter what the temperature is or how long you intend to be out.
• Being a nosey neighbour. Tell the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously in or around premises in your neighbourhood, and if possible, take the registration numbers of any unusual vehicles.
• Always taking your keys out of your lock as thieves can reach in and open the door.
• Putting valuables, including phone chargers (which imply a mobile phone is around), out of sight. It has been known for burglars to use hooks to pick up items through letterboxes, windows and cat flaps.
• Not leaving anything in reach of a cat flap.
For more information on how to improve your home security please contact the local Crime Reduction Officers or your Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.
Anyone with information on any of the incidents should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.