31 homes burgled in Wakefield in last week

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The number of burglaries across the Wakefield district has increased by more than 50 per cent with 31 homes targeted in the last week.

Detectives said there had also been an “unprecedented” increase in the number of burglars gaining access through unlocked doors or windows.

They are now urging people not be complacent throughout the summer and not to leave their homes vulnerable to crime.

Det Insp Andy Welbourne, of Wakefield Police, said: “Understandably, people are opening windows and doors to help with ventilation during the warm weather and criminals are taking advantage.

“This is not about asking people to batten down the hatches when the sun shines but is just a gentle reminder to take sensible precautions when ventilating your house.

“You might just be in your back garden for ten minutes but that’s more than enough time for a burglar to sneak in through an unlocked side door.”

Det Insp Welbourne also encouraged people to ask neighbours to keep an eye on their properties if they are going away on holiday.

Chris Joyce, West Yorkshire Police crime prevention officer, said; “Whilst the warm weather is a great opportunity to get out in the garden or socialise outdoors, there are offenders looking to take advantage of open windows and insecure doors, or personal property left unattended.

“Locking doors and windows that are easily accessible may seem simple, but it really does deter opportunistic offenders from targeting your home and is one of a number of simple steps you can take.

“People can have the best locks, alarms and lighting available, but leaving doors or windows unlocked and valuables on show create the opportunity that a burglar might just be looking for.

“Removing laptops completely out of sight, putting charger units for electronic items in the drawer rather than plugged in and on show, locking doors and removing the keys from the lock, securing tools away in the garage or shed after use and using the security that is already in place are all things that are cost free and could assist in making properties less attractive to burglars.”

For more information visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/burglary