30% reduction in burglaries but Derry police and politicians urge against complacency
There has been a 30 per cent reduction in burglaries in Derry and Strabane this year but police and politicians are asking people not to be complacent with the onset of darker winter nights.
Police in Derry City and Strabane have asked residents to make home security part of their daily routine as part of efforts to reduce and prevent burglaries.
Superintendent Catherine Magee said: “This time of year can see an increase in burglaries with criminals using the darker evenings to their advantage. There are three things however that 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.”
Chair of the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Alderman Maurice Devenney, added: "While we commend the ongoing downward trend in burglary (over a 30% reduction this year alone) within our district we recognise that being a victim of a burglary can be a very difficult and traumatising experience. However, if we all follow these steps and keep everything locked up, we can protect ourselves and our homes from any possible burglars.
"We should also look out for one another so please try and check in with your neighbours, particularly if they are elderly, vulnerable or living on their own.
"The advice is simple and by following these steps everyone can feel safer as we move into the darker, winter evenings. Your PCSP and Community Safety Wardens will continue to work in partnership with PSNI, who are always ready to help, so if you see anything suspicious don't hesitate to get in contact."
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.