Neighbourhood Watch hear about Operation Castle
04 October 2012
Are you starting to feel the pinch of autumn weather? Have you started to close your windows now that the weather has turned colder? Most people have, but there are still a few residents who are leaving them open.
To draw residents’ attention to home security, Operation Castle is Redbridge Police’s current anti-burglary campaign. It is a two pronged attack to proactively target offenders and to get residents on board by showing them how they can help protect their property and make it unattractive to burglars.
"Together with the residents we want to minimise any opportunity a burglar might have".
DS Michael Dougall has been speaking this week at the Local Neighbourhood Watch meeting to draw attention to Redbridge Police’s plan. “Burglary can be a traumatic event for a householder and their family. Our advice is to ensure your windows are locked and uPVC doors are double locked when you leave your home”.
DS Dougall went on to say, “An open window is like a magnet to an opportunist burglar and may invalidate your insurance cover. Window locks make it far more difficult for a burglar to open the window. Burglars will look for the easiest way to gain access to a property and an open window is just that”.
In the last week the Volunteer Police Cadets have assisted the Burglary Squad by patrolling on the borough looking for open windows and doors. The Cadets then approached each home and placed a balloon with a crime prevention advice label attached to it through the opening. By doing so, the Cadets were raising the householder’s awareness that if the Police could insert a balloon, then the same opening could provide an opportunity for burglars.
Those in attendance at the Neighbourhood Watch meeting were very impressed with this dramatic crime prevention tactic and were informed that it would be rolled out to all wards in the borough.
DS Dougall said, “Operation Castle is a proactive operation aimed at reducing burglary in the borough. Together with the residents we want to minimise any opportunity a burglar might have. If a window is open, we will put in a balloon to show the resident that they can help themselves from falling foul of a burglar and close the window on their behalf”.
Redbridge Police’s home security advice for residents is as follows:
- Make sure you close all windows and install window locks especially when you go out.
- Close your front and rear doors and make sure they are locked and secure
- uPVC doors need double locking so make sure you lift the handle engage the locking mechanism and turn the key in the lock to double lock it!!
- Avoid leaving valuables on display or near windows - including car keys.
- Use timer switches to activate lights when it begins to get dark. This will give the impression someone is home.
- If you have a garage, put your car in it.
- Install a visible burglar alarm - make thieves think twice
- Make sure your rear garden is secure - no ladders or steps left insecure in your garden.
- Use a UV pen to mark your property.
- If you have an iPad, iPod or iPhone download a free app called Find my iPhone which uses technology to assist police in tracing stolen property.
For further crime prevention advice please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team