Leicestershire Police launch ‘Lock up and Light up’ campaign

Ahead of the clocks going back an hour, Leicestershire Police are re-launching their ‘Lock up and Light up’, anti-burglary campaign.

The ‘Darker nights’ campaign encourages home owners to lock up their doors and keep their lights on when leaving the house in a bid to cut-down burglary incidents.

The winter nights can make it easier for burglars to hide in darkness and for unoccupied and unlit houses easier to spot. The force traditionally sees a seasonal rise in burglaries after the clocks go back in October, with the Police suggesting that offences rise through December and January and fall back to normal levels by around March.

Leicestershire Police’s lead for burglary, Detective Inspector Lee Ferguson said:

When the clocks go back by an hour this Sunday 30 October and the nights draw in earlier, we find that homes are often left unoccupied and left in darkness for longer periods of time. This can make them more vulnerable to burglary.

Our ‘Darker nights’ campaign encourages you to take some simple inexpensive precautions to help protect your home and your belongings. As well as reminding you to lock all the windows and doors before you leave, it also encourages you to leave a light on when you go out or use an automatic light timer to give the appearance that you are home.

If you notice that your neighbour’s house is in darkness, encourage them to leave a light on too.

Unfortunately many people only tend to think about their home security after becoming a victim of burglary. We hope this campaign can get people to think about their home security before it’s too late – we may be turning the clocks back this weekend but you can’t turn back time if your home is burgled.

Police are encouraging residents to buy a light timer, which can be found in most DIY and hardware shops.

The ‘Darker nights’ campaign also focuses on businesses to minimise the amount of store break-ins.

Leicestershire Police’s lead for commercial burglaries Detective Inspector Helen Fletcher said:

Longer, darker evenings allow the burglar more time to break into businesses when they are closed. They often use the darkness to conceal themselves.

We are also encouraging businesses to ‘lock up and light up’. Outdoor lighting can act as a deterrent to burglars because they will be seen more easily. It’s a good idea to floodlight passageways and all entrances to buildings.

Indoor lighting is just as important. When a business leaves lights on, it makes it easier for others to see burglars moving around the building. When stores have good internal lighting and shop window displays that are arranged so anyone can see into the store, it is off putting for the burglar.

Having your business burgled is costly, and a huge inconvenience. We hope that the ‘Darker nights’ campaign will encourage businesses to take steps to reduce their risk of being burgled.

The Leicestershire police have also given the following advice for residents and businesses.

Advice for businesses:

  • carry out regular general security checks of the premises
  • fit suitable locks and remember to lock all windows and doors
  • use adequate indoor and outside lighting
  • arrange shop displays so that people can see right into the store
  • use burglar resistant glass windows or fit permanent items such as window grills or roller shutters
  • fit a secure store safe
  • use good quality CCTV system
  • fit an intruder alarm, preferably with a personal attack facility

Advice for residents:

  • keep doors and windows locked at all times – even if you pop outside to the garden or go upstairs
  • always lock doors behind you and remove the key from the lock
  • make sure your home looks occupied by using automatic timer switches to turn on a light when it goes dark, even if you are just out for a couple of hours
  • keep valuables, bags, cash and keys out of sight and keep them in a safe place
  • don’t leave packaging from expensive items outside your house – take it to be recycled or put them in the bin
  • install a visible alarm system and security lighting to act as a deterrent
  • prevent easy access to the back and sides of your home with locked gates or fencing
  • if you’re going away, don’t advertise it on social media
  • ask a neighbour or relative if they could collect post and open and close curtains while you are away
  • register your belongings with www.immobilise.com

For further information on how to protect your home or business from burglars visit www.leics.police.uk/darkernights or follow #lockuplightup on Twitter.


By Mollie Mansfield

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