The heat is rising, and so are the number of burglaries

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West Yorkshire Police is reminding people to not be complacent during the warm weather and leave themselves vulnerable to burglars.

Over the weekend, police ran a specialist operation which led to a significant reduction in the number of burglary offences committed, however, the midweek heat-wave has led to an unprecedented spike in the number of properties targeted over recent days.

Superintendent Pat Casserly, who leads West Yorkshire Police’s crime fighting initiative Operation Viper, said “We had another successful weekend with a reduction in the number of burglaries, but over recent days and coinciding with the warmer weather we have seen a worrying upturn in the amount of homes being burgled.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) we had 33 domestic burglaries with over a third of those being recorded as an insecure entry; that means burglars have accessed the property through an insecure door or window.

“Understandably, people are opening windows and doors to help with ventilation during the warm weather and criminals are taking advantage.

“This is not about asking people to batten down the hatches when the sun shines but is just a gentle reminder to take sensible precautions when ventilating your house.

“You might just be in your back garden for 10 minutes but that’s more than enough time for a burglar to sneak in through an unlocked side door.”

Force Crime Prevention Officer Chris Joyce said; “Whilst the warm weather is a great opportunity to get out in the garden or socialise outdoors, there are offenders looking to take advantage of open windows and insecure doors, or personal property left unattended.

“Locking doors and windows that are easily accessible may seem simple, but it really does deter opportunistic offenders from targeting your home and is one of a number of simple steps you can take.

“People can have the best locks, alarms and lighting available, but leaving doors or windows unlocked and valuables on show create the opportunity that a burglar might just be looking for.

“Removing laptops completely out of sight, putting charger units for electronic items in the drawer rather than plugged in and on show, locking doors and removing the keys from the lock, securing tools away in the garage or shed after use and using the security that is already in place are all things that are cost free and could assist in making properties less attractive to burglars.”