New safety drive follows burglaries

DUP Councillor Drew Thompson pictured with Mildred Garfield and
DUP Councillor Drew Thompson pictured with Mildred Garfield and

Local families have been encouraged to be vigilant and protect their homes and vehicles in the city.

The warning follows a recent spate of burglaries in homes across Derry.

There have also been oil thefts reported across the city and an increase in other criminal activity such as car thefts .

In, light of the incidents, local people have been reminded of the ‘Close it, Lock it, Check it’ campaign in the city.

Speaking on this issue, DUP Councillor Drew Thompson, Chairperson of the Derry Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) said:

“We are fully supportive of any initiatives that raise public awareness of the need to keep homes and vehicles safe.

“Following the recent spate of break-ins and thefts in both Waterside and cityside, I would encourage residents to secure their homes, property and vehicles by closing and locking all doors, windows and gates and vehicles even if they are just nipping out for a few minutes.

“From experience we know that the majority of residential burglaries and vehicle thefts are opportunistic, with criminals taking advantage of unlocked doors and windows.

“It’s frustrating that many of these crimes are easily preventable and it is again worth reminding residents to take a few simple steps every day to keep their homes and property secure from criminals.”

Colr. Thompson added: “The PCSP will continue to support the PSNI and our partners to tackle this issue through ongoing support for Neighbourhood Watch Schemes, provision of dedicated patrolling by Community Safety Wardens and the provision of support and advice on securing property.

“Finally, I would advise the public that overall crime in our Council area has reduced when compared to last year although the increased number of residential burglaries this year remains a cause for additional attention.”

The new warning comes just days after the PSNI warned about a number of home heating oil thefts and attempted thefts across the Creggan, Glenowen and Galliagh estates over recent weeks.

It is thought that an organised crime gang may be behind the spate of thefts in each estate, and that the incidents might all be linked.

A spokesman for the PSNI in Derry said: “There have been a number of thefts of heating oil from domestic and business premises over recent days.

“In some instances the oil has been taken not through the locked main opening but through a secondary opening,possibly an air valve, at the rear of the tank which can be easily opened.

“If you are able to secure all outlets please do so.”

Independent Councillor Dee Quigley earlier this week also hit out at a spate of break-ins and anti-social behaviour witnessed in the city.