Warning for homeowners over sneak-in burglars

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With the nights getting lighter police are warning people to be vigilant against sneak-in burglaries.

These are incidents where criminals find their way into properties through open or unlocked windows and doors.

They have relaunched the ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ campaign, which runs until September, to get everyone to think about home security and ‘lock up or lose out’.

A police spokesperson said: “The clocks going forward on the 31st March often leads to an increase in sneak-in burglaries in particular, throughout the Spring and Summer months. The peak is usually in June.

“The campaign is titled ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ as it only takes a minute to lock your doors and windows but it is also the same amount of time that it could take a burglar to enter your house and steal your belongings.”

The key messages of the campaign are:

It only takes a minute to lock your doors and windows to secure your home.

It only takes a minute to hide valuables out of view.

It only takes a minute for a burglar to enter your property and steal valuable belongings if your doors or windows are unlocked.

You should keep doors and windows locked, even when you are in the house and when you get home. Try to change your habit if you don’t lock your door behind you.

Door chimes and burglar alarms will deter a burglar from entering your property.

Always remember to switch on your burglar alarm if you have one.

Being a victim of sneak-in burglary can have both emotional and financial effects. High value goods are costly to replace if stolen, and items such as phones and cameras often hold information with sentimental value such as photos, which cannot be replaced.

Many insurance companies will not pay out if your home has been burgled while insecure.

Keep doors and windows locked when in the garden having BBQs, gardening, hanging out the washing, etc.

Don’t leave garden tools or furniture outside, as they can be used by burglars to enter your property.

Dispose of packaging for expensive items properly; don’t advertise what is in your house.

Register your property on www.immobilise.com so that if it is stolen and recovered by the Police it can then be returned to you.

Download free tracking software onto mobile phones and laptops.

For more information about home security call 101 and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer or follow West Yorkshire Police on Twitter using #WYPburglary.