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Join in DPP forum to help keep burglars out

Local people are being urged to join in next week’s public forum on burglary, to help keep burglars out.

Organised by the Ards District Policing Partnership, together with the PSNI, the event, which takes place on Monday, March 15, will focus on keeping people and their property safe, as well as providing an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns about home safety issues.

The main message to be issued on the night centres on the fact that thieves break into houses and businesses whether occupied or unoccupied and that good security will reduce the chance of a property being burgled.

Simple tips include:

  • before you go out and at night make sure that all doors and windows are locked
  • fit mortice locks to all front and back doors
  • fit a burglar alarm, make sure it is installed properly and don’t forget to use it
  • never leave spare keys in a convenient hiding place — thieves know all the usual hiding places.
  • put away all tools and equipment and ensure that all outside sheds are securely locked when not in use. Do not leave items such as ladders lying around outside
  • if your car is in the driveway or on the street, park it under a light, if possible, and always lock it and remove all valuables from view
  • at home, car keys should not be left where they can be seen through an outside window or letterbox.

“This is all sound advice, but vital to follow if people want to make their home and property an unattractive option for any burglar,” said Councillor Angus Carson, chair of the DPP.

“This public forum aims to make it easier for people to ask questions and discuss options for securing their property directly with local crime prevention officers. It is another important method for the partnership to talk to local people and to give them a voice with the police”.

Police are also asking the public to be careful of bogus callers whose only aim is to distract people, trick their way into a house and steal money or valuables.

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Constable Susan Farr, Ards crime prevention officer, said: “These people may be smartly dressed or claim to be from the council, police or gas, water or electricity service. They can be men, women or children (or often a combination).

“My advice would be, if someone calls at your door, before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check your back door is closed and locked and take the key out.

“Put the door chain on your front door and look through the spy hole, or simply look through a window. Always keep the chain on when talking to the person on the doorstep. Ask for identification, if you are not expecting them and they fail to show you any identification, do not let them in. Remember genuine callers will always be happy to make an appointment to call and will carry an identity card with a photograph.”

The DPP Public Forum on buglary takes place in Ballygowan Community Centre at 7.30pm.

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