With the summer months upon us, and more people outdoors, police are reminding residents to protect their homes and property.

As the temperature increases, unfortunately so can the number of break-ins, and as part of the force’s Safer Summer initiative, Kent Police is urging residents to protect themselves in every possible way.

Insecure properties provide the ideal environment for thieves and something as simple as closing your windows and doors can prevent such an intrusive crime from taking place.

Officers around the county are currently investigating a number of burglaries.

A series of burglary offences in the Tovil area is reported to have occurred. It is believed a man entered a house via an insecure door and stole money. It is believed the same man was seen to be trying windows and door handles in the area.

In another incident in Maidstone, keys were left in a box outside the property which the suspect spotted and used to enter the property to steal jewellery and money.

Parcels were stolen from the porch of a property in Rochester while the door was unlocked.

In Folkestone, a victim reported more than £1,000 being stolen from their property. It is believed the suspect got in through an insecure back door.

All of these incidents are being investigated.

Historically police see increases of burglary during the summer. August 2022 saw 436 residential burglaries reported with 387 in January 2022.

Detective Superintendent Lopa McDermott, Head of the Crime Squad said: ‘Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home. But if you’ve been a victim of burglary, it can cast a shadow over your life, leaving you and your family feeling scared, anxious and unable to relax.

‘Many people open doors and windows to keep themselves cool when temperatures are high but they need to know it does make it easier for opportunistic thieves to strike when backs are turned.

‘When you leave the house or go upstairs for any length of time, it is important you make sure your windows and doors are shut and locked because anyone who has fallen victim to a burglary will know how upsetting and difficult it can be to come to terms with. Some things are simply irreplaceable and crimes like this can have a lasting impact on victims.’

Safety advice

–       Lock your doors and windows at night and during the day when you’re not in the vicinity (even if you are just popping upstairs for something)

–       Lock your back doors and windows when you answer the front door. Some burglars use distraction techniques.

–       Consider fitting extra security measures such as spy holes, door chains, door locks and intruder alarms.

–       Install your own CCTV covering the front and back of your property.

–       Mark your valuables and register them online at www.immobilse.com so we can return any recovered items.

–       Keep receipts and serial numbers safe.

–       Photograph and insure expensive or unique items.

–       Don’t keep valuables on display, consider installing a safe that could be bolted to the ground or wall. Or use a safety deposit box at your bank.

–       Use timer switches on lights and radios to make your home look occupied.

–       Keep gates, boundaries and sheds secure.

–       Lock away bikes, tools and garden items that could be taken or used to break into your home.

–       Don’t leave spare keys hidden outside under pots or in garages.

–       Think before posting holiday pictures on social media as it can make burglars aware the house is empty.

–       Keep gardens tidy and pruned to remove good hiding places for burglars and install security lights.

–       Cancel milk or paper deliveries when you’re away and make sure your grass is cut, these are some things that won’t make your home stand out.

Find out more about the force’s Safer Summer campaign here – Plans in place for a Safer Summer in Kent | Kent Police

By Ed

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