East Brighton to have extra police patrols

Posted On 08 Dec 2009 at 10:56 pm

Police are promising extra patrols across East Brighton in the run-up to Christmas to try to deter opportunist burglars from stealing presents.
Sgt Paul Gossland, of Sussex Police, said: “It sounds simple advice, but when it is dark outside people don’t always think to draw their curtains or leave a light on if they are going to be out.
“To the opportunist burglar, it is almost an invite.
“It may be the season of goodwill, but Sussex Police are urging people not to make it a happy Christmas for criminals by ‘handing them’ their Christmas presents.
“A house that is in darkness is the easiest target as no one is likely to be home.
“It doesn’t take long for a burglar to get inside and steal property, particularly things that are easy to sell such as televisions, videos, computers, jewellery and antiques.”
As well as extra patrols, neighbourhood policing teams plan to distribute leaflets offering some simple advice:

  • Use an automatic time switch on an indoor light, either in a room that cannot be peered into from the road, or upstairs. Regularly change the timing on the switch.
  • Put a time switch on a radio that has been tuned to a chat station. This will give the impression that the house is occupied. Regularly change the timing on the switch.
  • Store gifts out of sight until Christmas arrives. Also, be aware that empty boxes outside your house advertise valuables inside.
  • Fit security lighting, either dusk to dawn energy efficient lighting that will come on automatically as dusk sets in, or brighter passive infrared activated lighting drawing attention to movement.
  • Ensure that gates or access to the rear of the house are locked and secure. Don’t forget to lock your shed: your tools can be used to break in. Trim overgrown plants. Don’t give burglars a hiding place.
  • Secure windows, paying particular attention to those on the ground floor and above flat roof areas. Use locks and bolts and keep all your keys, including car keys, out of sight and out of reach.
  • Mark your valuables with your postcode and house number or name. Some articles are unsuitable for marking so photograph them with a ruler in view to show scale.
  • Intruder alarms are an effective deterrent against burglars. Before choosing a system ensure it is the one most suitable for your needs.
  • Officers believe that burglaries are not more likely in the run-up to Christmas but aim to offer reassurance while deterring any opportunist thieves.

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