Column: Help yourselves to help us

Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, of South Yorkshire Police. Picture: Marie Caley
Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, of South Yorkshire Police. Picture: Marie Caley
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It is testament to the hard work of our officers and staff across Sheffield, as well as the support of the public we serve, that the last month passed without any major incidents and that for the majority, the festive period was just that: festive.

Many of us start a new year by making New Year’s resolutions, whether that’s to try and take better care of ourselves or kicking a bad habit.

In Sheffield, your police force’s resolution remains the same as ever: to make our city safer for everyone who lives, works and studies here.

Unfortunately, criminals go into the new year with their same old tricks and it’s up to us to ensure that as few people as possible fall prey to these individuals.

Across the city, we are still seeing increases in burglaries and vehicle crime.

In the run-up to Christmas, our targeted campaign offered useful tips and advice about securing your property to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of theft or burglary.

A new year doesn’t mean a shift in this approach – it is still just as important to make sure that your home and vehicle are protected from would-be thieves.

Some of you may still be unpacking Christmas gifts or picking up bargains in the January sales – if so, please remember not to leave your boxes on show outside for all to see.

This is the easiest way of advertising to burglars what you have inside your home – try to dispose of the packaging by hiding it from view, tearing it up so it fits into the smaller bins, or taking it to a waste disposal site.

As ever, the advice about ensuring your windows and doors are closed and locked when you’re not home is still an incredibly simple and effective deterrent.

Opportunistic thieves think nothing of reaching in an open window or sneaking in an unlocked door to grab whatever valuables they can, including your car keys.

If you’re not going to be home one evening, or are going away and leaving your home unoccupied, close your blinds/curtains but set lights to come on via timer switches – this gives the impression that the building is occupied and can put burglars off.

The same advice applies to your vehicle – make sure there is nothing on show. Even if you don’t think it’s valuable, a thief might consider it worth smashing your window or breaking in. Don’t take that risk.

Take the new year as an opportunity to evaluate your home security – do you need new door and window locks? If you don’t have a burglar alarm or security lighting, consider whether this is the year to make that investment.

Help yourselves to help us, your local officers, to really tackle burglaries and vehicle crime.

Help us drive these crimes down by taking simple steps to protect your property and look out for each other.

Let’s look forward to a positive and safe 2017.