POLICE in Wolverhampton are warning residents to take extra care to keep their homes secure as summer approaches.
Properties can be most at risk during periods of warm weather, as burglars take advantage of windows and doors that have been left open or unlocked.
Residents are advised not leave windows or doors open in a room that is going to be left unoccupied and to make sure external doors are locked at all times when not in use.
DCI Derek Quinn from Wolverhampton Central police station said: â€œCrime patterns show that burglary and distraction burglary tend to increase slightly over the summer months, so it is important that everybody thinks carefully about securing their homes.
Officers are also encouraging vigilance against distraction burglars, who also tend to take advantage of the good weather as they look to target vulnerable members of the community.
DCI Quinn added: â€œIf somebody calls at your door, claiming to be from a utility company for example, you should always ask for identification before allowing them in.
â€œIf you have any suspicions you do not have to let anybody into your home.â€
There are five simple steps to prevent you becoming a victim of a burglary:
1. Always lock your front door from inside – in particular UPVC front doors that have handles, as they are often left unlocked when people are in their house. Offenders know this and will try UPVC doors to check if they are an easy point of access.
2. Only have ground floor windows open if you are going to be in that room where they are unlocked.
3. Do not leave back doors open if you are to be upstairs for any length of time as burglars often gain access to people’s property from rear gardens.
4. Be especially vigilant when the weather is particularly hot as would-be offenders will be on the look out for easy targets.
5. Do not leave upstairs windows open when you are going out.
There is further information about distraction burglary on the web at www.west-midlands.police.uk/saferhomes.
There is also an innovative new video advising how to avoid becoming a victim of burglary online at www.west-midlands.police.uk/pctv and on West Midlands Policeâ€™s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/westmidlandspolice.