The crime matters column with Superintendent Paula Booth

Closing windows and doors when they are not in use will help deter opportunist burglars.
Closing windows and doors when they are not in use will help deter opportunist burglars.

Despite Storm Hector bringing some breezy and cold conditions over recent days, believe it or not we are still in summer. Summer brings its issues for police and one such problem we encounter is an increase in day-time burglaries.

On one sunny June day alone we had five burglaries reported in our town.

There is nothing to suggest these homes were broken into because they lacked appropriate security and although nothing can 100% guarantee your home won’t be targeted by thieves, there are measures you can take to make your property less desirable to someone looking to break-in.

It may seem obvious but closing and securing doors and windows when they are not in use is an excellent start. A lot of burglaries are opportunistic. If a would-be burglar is walking down a road where someone has left a window open, rest assured they would pick that property instead of risking being caught attempting to force entry into another property.

In hot weather it may be tempting to leave a small window open, even on an upper floor, to keep the house cool but it is simply not worth the risk.

Alarming your home is one good example, and in fact it is believed that those who broke into one of the properties earlier in the month were spooked by the alarm going off, and subsequently nothing was taken. However, if you do have an alarm installed please remember to use it every time you leave your house, even if you are just popping to the shops.

A lot of us enjoy updating our properties over the summer months. If you are one of those people, please make sure if you are installing new windows or doors that they are certified to British Standard and employ reputable tradespeople to do the job properly.

The sad fact is that anyone can be a victim of burglary. Closing a door or window properly may add on a minute or two to your morning routine but dealing with the after effects of burglary will take a lot longer. It’s not just the hassle of clearing up after the intruders, spending time on the phone to insurance companies and saving up to replace the stolen items but the trauma of someone being in your home, the place you are meant to feel the safest, can stay with you for some time.

Warm weather can also make our open water areas more attractive as people look for ways in cooling down. Lakes, reservoirs and rivers all highly appealing when the sun is scorching in the sky but they all potentially hide hidden dangers too – whether that is a current, extremely cold temperatures or hidden depth, unless you know it is safe stay out!

The summer can also be a time to celebrate. In Harrogate and the surrounding areas we are fortunate to host some fantastic events which attract a variety of people from around the county and beyond. The Bed Race is one example.

We believe around 25,000 people attended the event which passed with only one arrest. Harrogate Pride is a great example of how well the town hosts events and although at the time I write this, the event has not yet taken place, after seeing the success of the York Pride event I am hopeful our event will pass in a similar style.

The message here is simple, enjoy the summer, it will be over before you know it but do so safely. We wish you all and enjoyable time and fingers crossed for some sun – in the nicest possible way we hope you won’t need us over the summer months but if you do, we will be here for you.