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Inner city houses easy targets for burglars

New Zealand Police, Christchurch
7 October 2009

Burglaries in the inner city and the suburbs stretching through to Woolston, Phillipstown and Linwood, are on the rise and police say that many people are not taking enough care to keep their houses and vehicles secure.

Sergeant Steve Sharland says that many of the properties in these suburbs are rental and while landlords do not always provide adequate security, residents are not always using what security they have.

"It's the age old story- please use what ever security you have; lock the door, close the windows, secure the front of the house if you're out the back, make sure the shed or garage is closed up," he says. "In the last 4/5 months up to 25% of dwelling burglaries are because premises are insecure. The burglars have been able to just walk in and help themselves."

If a tenant does not think the security on their rental is adequate there is always the option of asking the landlord for it to be updated.

"It's the usual small electronic items that are particularly attractive to the opportunist thief," Sharland says. "Laptops, ipods, play stations and cash are easily uplifted and carried."

Sergeant Sharland advises to leave such items where they cannot be easily seen from the window or an open door.

"If your ipod, keys or wallet can be seen easily, it makes it easier for some one to decide to break in," he says. "I am always amazed at what I see people leave in vehicles too, all within easy view; wallets, handbags, shopping and sports equipment. It's all very tempting."

Sergeant Sharland says that while the majority of vehicles in the suburbs are broken into early evening and night, cars in inner city parks are vulnerable any time of day.

With spring in the air, the theft of items from the garage or garden shed increases too with lawnmowers, bicycles and power tools stolen.

"Just make sure you lock the doors and windows even when you may be just out the back hanging out the washing or gardening. It only takes a few minutes for someone to lift things. It's not a nice feeling to have your home broken into and know someone has rifled through your belongings."

"Please call police immediately if you see some one acting suspiciously around your home and car or your neighbours'."

There is an increasing trend of burglaries rising and everyone should make an effort to ensure they are not included. If you want further crime prevention advice please contact your local community police officer, visit the police website or join or set up a Neighbourhood Support Group in your street.


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