Police warning after spate of burglaries in Wiltshire: Top security tips

POLICE are warning residents to be on their guard after a spate of burglaries across Wiltshire.

In an open letter, Detective Inspector Darren Ambrose, who leads the Burglary Investigation team at Wiltshire Police, notes 27 incidents across the county in March.

“While we are doing all we can to identify those responsible, which often requires working closely with neighbouring forces as it is often the case that offenders travel cross border to commit crimes, I wanted to share with you some recent national research which has identified those houses most likely to be targeted and what you can do to help,” he said.

“The majority of burgled properties are in a cul-de-sac – they are most often approached from the rear and are rarely overlooked.

“Burglars often gain entry by climbing over fences and gates.

“As a result, you may consider something called ‘defensive planting’ which has the potential to make a property less attractive and more difficult as a target.

“It involves planting plants with natural defences such as thorns, barbs or spines, along fences and windows.”

Other advice to prevent burglaries includes:

  • Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes
  • Double-lock any door
  • Make sure that any valuables are out of sight
  • Keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys, including car keys
  • In the evening, shut the curtains and leave lights on
  • If you’re out all day, then it’s advisable to use a timer device to automatically turn lights and a radio on at night
  • Set your alarm, and if you have a Ring doorbell, please ensure it is set to record
  • Make sure the side gate is locked
  • Lock your shed or garage
  • Lock your bike inside a secure shed or garage, to a robust fitting bolted to the ground or wall, like a ground anchor
  • Consider the purchase of a Faraday pouch/bag to place your car keys in. This reduces the risk of your car being stolen by gangs who have devices to steal vehicles without needing the keys

DI Ambrose added: “My pledge moving forward is to continue tackling burglary as effectively as possible, but having the support of the community is essential.

“Many of our burglary crimes are solved through brave members of the public coming forward and providing essential information.”

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