Derry & Strabane residents urged to prioritise home security this Summer

PSNI Superintendent Gordon McCalmont
PSNI Superintendent Gordon McCalmont

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

District Commander Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said that the most recent statistics show that burglary offences fell over the last financial year here in the city and district and outcome rates are also slightly improved.

“This is reassuring however we can’t be complacent,” he said.

Overall, burglary has decreased by 53 incidents, from 464 in the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 compared to 411 in the same period in 2018/19.

“There are three things everyone can do to help us prevent more people from becoming victims of burglary,”. Supt. McCalmont said.

“Firstly make sure to close, lock and check all windows and doors, even if you are just stepping outside for a few minutes. 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. If you know someone who lives on their own then why not drop in, even just once a week to make sure they are OK.”

He added that police work closely with the Derry & Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership and Neighbourhood Watch partners to ensure that advice and support is available to all our residents.

The Chair of the Derry and Strabane PCSP, Councillor Sandra Duffy added: “As a Policing and Community Safety Partnership, we are delighted that burglary in our Council area has decreased by 11.4 per cent when compared to last year. This represents 53 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. I would echo the District Commander’s 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.”

Police have also referred local people to additional safety advice on their website: www.psni.police.uk and a crime prevention officer is available on the non-emergency number 101.