Police advice after spate of Sussex burglaries

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Sussex Police has released advice on how to keep your home safe from burglars.

Homeowners are being told take the following steps to make sure their properties are safe:

- Keep all wallets, purses, credit cards and car keys out of sight and out of reach.

- If leaving a house empty, even if just in the back garden, lock all the doors and windows.

- Fit an intruder alarm as an effective deterrent against burglars: seek advice to ensure it is the most suitable for your needs.

- Make it a habit to mark valuables with a postcode and house number or name.

- Some articles are unsuitable for marking so photograph them next to a ruler.

- Register property at immobilise.com, It’s free of charge and can increase chances of being reunited with stolen property.

- During winter, leave some lights on if it will be dark before returning home

- When going out in the evening, always leave a light on in a room that cannot be peered into from the road

- Fit security lighting - either dusk-to-dawn energy efficient lighting that will come on automatically as darkness falls, or infrared activated lighting which draws attention to movement.

- Don’t let strangers into the house. Always ask for identification - official visitors won’t mind being asked for ID.

- Fit a door chain and if possible a wide-angle door viewer.

- Ensure that gates or access to the rear of the house are locked and secure

- Trim overgrown plants - don’t give burglars a hiding place.

- Secure garden tools and ladders in a locked shed or garage to prevent them being used to break in. Fit outside security lighting and a visible burglar alarm to help deter burglars.

The advice comes in the wake of several burglaries at homes in the East Preston area, near Littlehampton, between Boxing Day and Monday (December 28).

Police Community Support Officer Michelle Davies said: “A burglary in your own home is a devastating experience that can affect your family long after the mess is cleared up and the insurance paperwork is done. Prevent a burglar messing with your head as well as your home by taking simple crime prevention measures.

“In Sussex, Operation Magpie is our response to burglary. This operation sees us working with our partner agencies with the aim of preventing burglary and, when it does happen, finding those responsible and searching for your stolen property as quickly as possible.

“We recently launched our recovered property site as another way of reuniting stolen items with their rightful owners: www.flickr.com/photos/suspolproperty

“Burglars know the price of everything but the value of nothing. The best defence against them is prevention.

“In an emergency, of if you see a crime in progress or believe it is about to occur, always call 999.”

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