A SPIKE in the number of break-and-enter crimes in the summer months has prompted a renewed warning from police to be vigilant about securing homes.
Data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research showed there had been a sizable spike in break-in incidents in Orange during summer months in the past five years.
While that rise has bucked a broader trend that has seen the total number of offences decline in recent years, one of the region’s top cops has urged residents to make allowances in the remaining weeks of summer.
Chifley Police District acting crime manager Chris Reay said criminals observe more of their behaviours and patterns than most people thought.
While we don't want to see people trying to live in a fortress and suffering due to the heat, police would ask residents to turn their minds to the security of their premises
And that information could be put to nefarious use.
“For example, a household may go on holidays and a criminal notices and takes advantage,” Inspector Reay said.
In the 12 months to September 2018 the number of break-and-enter offences in Orange fell 20.8 per cent from the previous year, from 363 to 289.
There was also a decline across the entire Central West Police District in the same 12-month stretch, from 1258 incidents to 1041.
Cameron Humphries, the managing director of Macquarie Alarm and Security, said his business definitely saw an increase in break and enters during the warmer months.
“In particular, there is an increase in opportunistic break and enters to homes while people are at work,” Mr Humphries said.
“Apart from the better weather making it more comfortable for would-be thieves to be out and about participating in crime, it is also a time where homeowners tend to open up their homes to allow air flow through to cool things down or they are out in their yards, leaving their homes unlocked.”
Inspector Reay confirmed there had been break-in incidents when people opened their homes’ doors and windows for fresh air.
“We have seen instances of this occurring and while we don't want to see people trying to live in a fortress and suffering due to the heat, police would ask residents to turn their minds to the security of their premises, especially if heading out for the day,” he said.
Mr Humphries said the most effective thing to do is to install an alarm system that includes highly visible warning stickers and an external siren.
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