POLICE have urged homeowners to use ‘commonsense’ after recording a massive increase in the number of burglaries.
Officers from Derbyshire Police revealed that between December 1 and January 8 that there had been 32 house burglaries across the entire area.
Astonishingly, half of these incidents were where doors had been left unlocked and most overnight while people were still in their homes.
The force has made this problem a priority and is now urging people to make sure their homes are ‘extra secure’.
PC Eileen Banton, a crime reduction officer based at Swadlincote Police Station, in Civic Way, told the Mail: “We have now recorded 32 house burglaries in the south Derbyshire area in the short period from the start of December to the first week of January.
“This is a significant number and we really need to try and put an end to this.
“More often and not we are finding that a lot of these homes have been left insecure and amazingly some are being left unlocked overnight.
“We would ask people to ensure that doors are locked and that they check them last thing at night before they go to bed.
“At the same time, they should also make sure that all windows are shut and locked.”
It has also been revealed that burglars have been reaching through letter boxes and cat flaps, to take keys.
PC Banton added: “We are also still seeing people leaving their car keys within reach of the door and this is allowing burglars to get the keys very easily. This can allow them to steal a car and gain access to the properties.
“It only takes a few minutes to check doors and windows but it only takes seconds for the opportunist burglar to come into a home through an unlocked door.
“We are urging people to take notice of this advice and make sure they don’t become the next victim.”
Anyone with information about house burglaries should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.