Issued on 26/10/16 at 1:41 p.m.
As the clocks go back and the nights draw in, Leicestershire Police reminds you to ‘Lock up and light up’ this winter.
The ‘Darker nights’ campaign aims to help prevent an increase in burglaries over the winter months by reminding residents to lock their homes and encouraging them to leave a light on, giving the appearance that someone is home.
The winter nights can make it easier for burglars to hide in darkness and for unoccupied and unlit houses easier to spot. The force traditionally sees a seasonal rise in burglaries after the clocks go back in October, with offences rising through December and January and falling back to normal levels by around March.
Leicestershire Police’s lead for burglary, Detective Inspector Lee Ferguson said:
When the clocks go back by an hour this Sunday 30 October and the nights draw in earlier, we find that homes are often left unoccupied and left in darkness for longer periods of time. This can make them more vulnerable to burglary.
Our ‘Darker nights’ campaign encourages you to take some simple inexpensive precautions to help protect your home and your belongings. As well as reminding you to lock all the windows and doors before you leave, it also encourages you to leave a light on when you go out or use an automatic light timer to give the appearance that you are home.
If you notice that your neighbour’s house is in darkness, encourage them to leave a light on too.
Unfortunately many people only tend to think about their home security after becoming a victim of burglary. We hope this campaign can get people to think about their home security before it’s too late – we may be turning the clocks back this weekend but you can’t turn back time if your home is burgled.
Police are encouraging residents to buy a light timer as the cost is minimal compared to the financial and emotional cost of replacing items after a burglary. You can purchase light timers at most DIY stores.
The ‘Darker nights’ campaign also focuses on businesses. With most store break-ins occurring at night, the darker nights provide burglars with more opportunity to break into businesses.
Leicestershire Police’s lead for commercial burglaries Detective Inspector Helen Fletcher said:
Longer, darker evenings allow the burglar more time to break into businesses when they are closed. They often use the darkness to conceal themselves.
We are also encouraging businesses to ‘lock up and light up’. Outdoor lighting can act as a deterrent to burglars because they will be seen more easily. It’s a good idea to floodlight passageways and all entrances to buildings.
Indoor lighting is just as important. When a business leaves lights on, it makes it easier for others to see burglars moving around the building. When stores have good internal lighting and shop window displays that are arranged so anyone can see into the store, it is off putting for the burglar.
Having your business burgled is costly, and a huge inconvenience. We hope that the ‘Darker nights’ campaign will encourage businesses to take steps to reduce their risk of being burgled.
Advice for businesses:
Advice for residents:
For further information on how to protect your home or business from burglars visit www.leics.police.uk/darkernights or follow #lockuplightup on Twitter.