NEW police research has shown that a third of burglaries in South Derbyshire have come as a result of people leaving windows and doors open at home.
The staggering statistic was revealed as Derbyshire Police launches a bid to try to educate homeowners to make sure they keep homes and cars locked following a rise in ‘opportunist’ crimes in the area.
Officers will be patrolling hotspot areas in the coming weeks and delivering footprint-shaped leaflets through letterboxes of homes they have found to be insecure.
Swadlincote-based Inspector Nigel Lidsey told the Mail: “The fact that a third of burglaries are a result of homes and cars being left unlocked speaks for itself.
“Our research, where we have looked back over the past 12 months, shows us that this puts us among the highest in the force for this matter.
“This is why we are looking to try to reduce the number of insecure burglaries, but to do this we need the help of the public.
“We do not want people to feel trapped in their home or that they cannot leave doors and windows open, but we are just asking for them to be extra vigilant.
“What we are finding is that a lot of these burglaries are random rather than pre-planned.
“So a burglar may see an open window or a door that is ajar and take their chance, but if that opportunity is taken away they may not try to break in as it might be too much effort.
“My officers will be doing their part as well. We will be increasing patrols in hotspot areas and any homes or cars found insecure will get a leaflet left to say that officers have been able to gain access with ease, and that a burglar could have done so as well.
“We are not trying to frighten people, but this is a crime that can easily be stopped with a little bit of prevention.
“We can all get a bit complacent and forgetful, but a few extra steps can make sure that homes are as secure as possible.”