Kent residents urged to check home security to prevent burglary
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As the darker evenings approach, Kent residents are being urged to ensure their homes are as secure as possible to deter thieves.
Since 2019, Kent Police has had a dedicated team of officers and detectives who focus heavily on catching burglars and putting them before the courts.
Investigations carried out by the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad have led to offenders being jailed for a total of 1,132 years. They have also made 774 arrests and secured 2,233 charges. Reports of burglary across the county are also down by 25% compared with 2020.
These results, coupled with the work from officers around the force – including Police Community Support Officers who help support victims and provide community reassurance – sends a strong message that burglary won’t be tolerated in Kent and those committing such crimes will be caught and put before the courts.
Despite the reduction in Kent burglaries, the autumn and winter months do tend to see a spike in reported incidents. The extra hours of darkness combined with residents being out enjoying festive events can give thieves the time they need to break into homes and steal valuable items.
Officers at Kent Police recognise this trend and every year, between November and January, take the opportunity to remind people of the ways in which they can improve on their home security and offer advice online and via social media to help prevent as many burglaries as possible. The public are also urged to be vigilant and report anything suspicious straight away.
Shoppers getting in early with their Christmas gifts are encouraged not to keep valuables on display in their homes near to windows and doors, and to ensure any packaging is not left outside, which is inviting for thieves. Homeowners are also advised to make sure windows, side gates and garages are securely locked, and burglar alarms are on. You should also consider marking valuables to assist with identification if stolen.
Superintendent Pete Steenhuis said:
‘Burglary has an incredibly emotive impact on victims of crime, and we recognise the significant distress it causes.
‘Whilst some burglars are part of organised groups, many are just opportunistic, and we want to remind people to think about ways to make it harder for them to steal. Let’s work together to limit their chances and continue to identify those who do commit these terrible crimes.
‘Make sure your house isn’t the only one in the street left in darkness. Use timers for internal lighting and arrange for people to visit the property while you are away. These are good ways of making it look like your property is not empty. If possible arrange for people to collect mail while you are away and put bins away so they can’t be climbed on. Also be careful what you post online and on social media regarding valuables and your movements.
‘Any suspicious behaviour should always be reported via the Kent Police website or call 101 if you do not have access to the internet. In the event of an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, always call 999.’