CLOSE, lock and check all windows and doors is the straight-from-the-shoulder advice from Police.
If followed, it could prevent thousands of domestic burglaries across Northern Ireland every year, many of them opportunistic in nature.
According to information recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, in up to half of all reported domestic burglaries, the burglar has gained access to a property through open, unlocked windows or doors.
Chief Inspector Deirdre Bones, Area Commander for Down, explained: “On a daily basis, police officers respond to calls for help from people who have been burgled, so we are very much aware of the effect these incidents can cause.
“While the number of recorded domestic burglaries in the Down area continue to drop by 2% in the last 12 months to 27 January 2013, burglary detection and prevention remains a key priority for Police.
“We are particularly concerned that in nearly half of all reported domestic burglaries, entry has been gained by open or insecure windows and doors. Householders have an important responsibility to follow the simple safety advice highlighted in the advertisements – by closing, locking and checking all windows and doors before leaving your home, or going to bed at night.
“I cannot stress the importance of reporting suspicious activity at the time it occurs, no matter how late the call. The sooner we can investigate and the more evidence we can gather the better.”
“By taking these simple steps, they will create a huge deterrent to an opportunistic thief. By working together with the public, we will make life difficult for burglars and create a safer Northern Ireland for everyone.”
Poster advertisements will appear in key locations across Northern Ireland, supported by advertisements in buses and a series of radio advertisements.
Further crime prevention advice is available on the police website www.psni.police.uk or by contacting your local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.