26% drop in Derry burglaries during COVID-19 but police and politicians urge against complacency

Burglaries in Derry and Strabane have reduced by 26 per cent during COVID-19 but police and politicians are warning people not to be complacent.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 1:09 pm

Councillor Martin Reilly, Chair of the Derry and Strabane PCSP added: “As a Policing and Community Safety Partnership, we are delighted that burglary in our Council area has decreased by over 26% compared to last year.

"This represents 97 property owners who have avoided suffering the trauma that burglary brings with it. This welcome reduction is a result of a partnership approach with the community, PCSP and PSNI working as a collective to address the issue."

Police in Derry City and Strabane, however, are asking residents to make home security part of their daily routine as part of efforts to reduce and prevent burglaries.

Burglary appeal.

Superintendent Catherine Magee said: “There are three things everyone can do to help us prevent more people from becoming victims of burglary.

“Firstly make sure to close, lock and check all windows and doors before you leave the house or go to bed. Get into the habit of doing this every day and make sure to get everyone in the house involved. The more you make this part of your daily routine, the less chance you have of being targeted by opportunistic burglars.

“Secondly, if you see something on your street or in your neighbourhood that doesn’t look right then let us know. Don’t wait. Pick up the phone and give us the information as soon as you can. We have caught burglars in the act because someone called us straightaway. We have stopped vans with stolen goods on-board because someone called us straightaway. The sooner we know, the faster we can respond and the safer your neighbourhood will be.

“Lastly make it your business to check in on an older neighbour or family member. Sadly burglars will target those who are more vulnerable in our community so if you know someone who lives on their own then please make contact in whatever way you can.”

Colr. Reilly said: “I would echo the advice on keeping property safe and would encourage residents to look out for their elderly neighbours and to report anything suspicious to police immediately. Our PCSP will continue to work in partnership to keep our communities safe. We will not be complacent on this issue and will continue to work to encourage residents to protect their property.”

There is also information on home security on the PSNI website (www.psni.police.uk) and your crime prevention officer is available to provide further assistance via our non-emergency number 101.