Winter crime warnings

WINTER brings with it long nights and frosty weather and both can lead to an increase in crime, people in Suffolk are today being warned.Because of the added hours of darkness, house owners may be leaving their homes empty and unlit which can encourage burglars.

WINTER brings with it long nights and frosty weather and both can lead to an increase in crime, people in Suffolk are today being warned.

Because of the added hours of darkness, house owners may be leaving their homes empty and unlit which can encourage burglars.

And Suffolk police are today reminding people to make sure lights are on and homes secure.

Crime reduction officer, Steve Barrett said: "If you are away from home, even if only for an evening, it's worth putting your lights on a timer switch.


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"Remembering to secure doors and windows is, at any time of year, an essential deterrent and the combination of lights on and no obvious entry point can be enough to put off many opportunistic burglars."

Another major problem with falling temperatures is car theft.

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Because of frost on cars, some motorists are inclined to leave their cars running in order to melt ice.

If these cars are left unattended they are an easy target for thieves and, according to the AA, car theft increases in the colder weather because of this.

Andrew Briscoe, managing director of AA Insurance Services said: "Thieves look for cars left running on cold mornings – so warming your car in this way is an open invitation for the car to be stolen."

Some insurers believe that as many as one in ten stolen cars are taken because they have been left unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: "We would always remind people to leave their cars secure at all times, to keep them locked and not to leave keys in the ignition."

According to Home Office figures, 60 per cent of cars stolen in 2000 were taken from outside the owner's house.

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