Light up, lock up – that’s the message from York Police as they re-launch the city’s biggest ever crime prevention campaign.
With the clocks going back and the nights drawing in, officers are concerned that opportunist burglars could target homes left obviously empty and in darkness.
Throughout the month of November, York Police will be undertaking Operation Joypad, an initiative that will see officers and PCSOs on high-visibility patrols around key areas of the city.
Any premises that are in darkness and appear empty will be identified, and crime prevention advice given to ensure that residents are aware how to better protect their homes.
Over the summer, officers on Operation Joypad checked 21,000 homes in York, to ensure they hadn’t been left vulnerable to burglars with insecure doors and windows during the warm weather.
Sergeant Colin Sutherland, of York Police, said: “The darker nights are well and truly here, and this can catch residents out when it comes to home security. Too often, householders are making their properties an attractive proposition for burglars and thieves by leaving them in darkness.
“However, a few simple steps are all it takes to counter this risk – and this is where the police can help.”
Key ‘dark night’ crime prevention advice includes:
• a well-lit home gives the impression that someone is in
• use timer switchers to turn lights on while you are out
• don’t leave curtains closed during the day, only in the evening and overnight
• lock all windows and doors
• keep valuable items out of view
• keep gates well secured
Officers will also have dot peen property marking equipment available at locations in the area where the operation is taking place.
Visibly marked property acts as a deterrent to thieves, and if it is lost or stolen, helps the police identify its rightful owner and provide evidence vital in securing prosecutions.
Sgt Sutherland added: “We will highlight the locations of our property marking sessions on our social media feeds, and I would encourage residents to take advantage of this and attend if they have property and valuables they wish to have marked.”
To find out when your next property marking event is taking place in York, contact your local police team via 101, or follow them on Facebook, or Twitter at @snayorkcityeast, @snayorknorth or @snayorkwest – the service is promoted with the hashtag #whatisdotpeen.
For more information about home security and property marking, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity. You can also download the North Yorkshire Police interactive home security iBook, available for free on iPhone and iPad – just search for “Securing your home” on iTunes.