Protect your property and reduce your risk of becoming a victim

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Police in Ballymoney are reminding residents to take steps to protect their property and reduce their risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Inspector David Anderson, Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Reassessing your crime prevention routine is an important first step. A large proportion of all burglaries occur at unsecured premises through unlocked doors or windows. If your doors aren’t secure, neither is your house. Make sure your doors are strong enough for the job, and fit mortise deadlocks, door chains and viewers and make use of them, when you receive an unexpected knock at the door.

“Never leave keys in the locks, on tabletops or hooks in view of external windows. Never hide spare keys under doormats or flower pots - thieves aren’t stupid - hidden keys make life easy for the burglar. Keep your doors and windows locked whether you are at home or not and establish a bedtime routine which involves checking them just before you retire for the night.

“Whether you have wooden, metal or UPVC window frames in your home there are a variety of locks available that are suitable for all window types. If your window does not already have a keyed lock fitted, then consider having them fitted, particularly on ground floor windows or upper windows that may be easily accessed from a flat roof.

“Exterior lights are useful in discouraging the attention of criminals, particularly those involved in burglary and the theft of heating oil as it raises the potential of them being seen in the vicinity of your home by either yourself or a neighbour.

“Householders are reminded to keep receipts of the latest oil delivery and should also check the oil level regularly so that, in the event a theft occurs they will know how much was taken and when the theft occurred. Similarly, lights can be used to brighten the driveway where the family car is parked and again, it is important to make sure the car is locked when left unattended and that any valuables or tools are removed and kept secure and out of sight elsewhere.

“Visible intruder alarms will often be a deterrent to a burglar. If you decide to have one fitted, make sure it is installed by a reputable company and meets recognised standards. Most modern alarms allow for the user to partially set their systems, even when at home.”

Police would encourage anyone with information about burglaries or any type of crime to contact police immediately.