POLICE are urging residents of Thurrock to secure their front doors properly, after a rise in burglaries in December.
Reports of burglaries were up by 38 per cent last month, after 71 were reported to police in Thurrock, compared to 55 in December 2010. Of these burglaries, nearly 40 per cent occurred after the front door was forced, which could mean that people are not securing their uPVC doors properly.
On boxing day in Water Lane, Purfleet, a suspect forced open the front uPVC door and stole electrical items, a handbag, a mobile and the keys to a VW car. They then used the keys to steal the car, making the total amount stolen to be estimated at £14,205.
Seven per cent of these burglaries in December were committed through insecure doors or windows, meaning that five people may have been able to stop their own burglary had they locked their property up properly before leaving the house or going to bed.
In one incident in Cornwell Crescent, Stanford-le-Hope on December 22, suspects gained entry through an insecure rear door, trashed the house and stole a tablet computer, worth an estimated £160.
Thurrock district commander, Chief Insp Richard Baxter, said: “We have been actively patrolling the whole district since a rise in reports of burglaries towards the end of last year, and have been informing residents when we spot a property insecure, giving them advice on how to reduce your chances of being targeted by a burglar.
“However, time and time again we are seeing that a lot of the forced front doors are because the uPVC door wasn’t locked properly; it is a common mistake that most homeowners innocently make, but unless you lift the handle and lock the deadbolts in place with a key, your door can easily be jemmied or forced with bodily pressure.”
“Please help us in our efforts by listening to our advice, so together we can make Thurrock a no-go area for burglars.”
If you would like further crime prevention advice, please contact Thurrock crime reduction officer Alan Twine on 101. If you know who is committing burglary in your area, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.