9:59am Tuesday 2nd April 2013
By Bruce Unwin
POLICE have issued seasonal crime prevention advice with the onset of British Summer Time, despite the lingering chilly wintry weather.
The movement of clocks forward at the weekend means there will be gradual longer days and lighter nights on the approach to the mid-summer months.
Durham Police say this brings extra reasons for home owners to take precautions over their property.
This includes the increased chance of doors and windows being left open, making it easy for sneak-in thieves to strike, and valuable equipment being left insecure in garden sheds.
Crime prevention advice includes not leaving vehicle keys on benches, window sills or key racks near doors and windows, or even beside letter boxes where they can be accessed from outside.
Bicycles, toys and garden tools should be kept secure overnight, while garden owners are urged to take care to secure barbecue equipment, patio furniture sets and garden ornaments.
Where possible householders are advised to indelibly mark property, whether used inside and outside the home.
Residents are also advised to double check their home, garage, garden and vehicle are safe before they retire for bed.
Chief Superintendent Ivan Wood said: “In addition to issuing seasonal crime prevention advice, we have a number of ongoing initiatives to continue to keep County Durham and Darlington safe.”
Among the specialist schemes are Forecourt Watch, seeking to tackle fuel thieves, and Shopwatch, to target retail crime and counterfeit currency.
Chief Supt Wood said: “We will also be actively promoting the value of Neighbourhood Watch schemes and encouraging more people to get involved.
“Local communities can also get involved in promoting safer neighbourhoods by coming along to a regular local PACT (Police and Communities Together) meeting.”
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