Police advice for darker evenings

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PEAK and Dales residents are being advised to switch a light on and be more vigilant as the clocks go back this weekend.

People are being reminded to take on board some simple steps to help reduce the opportunity of having their home broken into.

The advice comes as the daylight hours get shorter and the darker evenings arrive, especially as British Summer Time officially ends this Sunday, October 30.

Sgt. Garry Staples, Community Safety Partnership Sergeant for the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales, said: “While the number of burglaries in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales has reduced significantly in the last six months, it is important that people don’t become complacent.”

During the last six months, Friday, April 1 to Friday, September 30 the number of dwelling burglaries in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales has reduced by 25 percent, from 184 recorded during that period in 2010, to 138 in 2011.

Sgt. Staples added: “We would like to further reduce the number of victims but we really need residents to help by being cautious and following crime prevention advice”

“People are being asked to always make sure that their homes and vehicles are secure at all times. Residents can also take steps such as leaving a light on or using a timer, to make it appear as if someone is at home.”

Top tips include:

Keep both front and back doors locked, even when at home or in the garden.

Make sure you lock your home as you go out, even if it is for a few minutes.

Keep house and car keys out of sight and reach from windows, doors, cat flaps and letterboxes.

If out in the evening, leave a light on and close the curtains.

Be sure to set your house alarm before going out and if you do not have an alarm, consider investing in one to improve security.

Use timer switches to ensure lights or radios come on at certain times, especially if you know you will not be home before it gets dark.

For more advice and information visit the Derbyshire police website, www.derbyshire.police.uk or contact your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team by calling 101, the new national police non-emergency number.