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West Bridgford
Thursday, 15 April 2021

Police warning of opportunist burglars after recent lockdown easing

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Police are warning residents to be vigilant and guard against opportunist burglars taking advantage of the recent lockdown easing as people venture out over the Easter school holidays.

The force has two burglary teams who are dedicated to tackling the invasive crime and their relentless work – combined with the impact of more people staying at home in line with Covid regulations – has helped drive offences down by 35 per cent in the last year.

Recent successes include officers helping to put a burglar behind bars for over three years after breaking into a home in Wollaton.

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The force is keen to ensure burglary stays on a downward trend by reminding residents to check their security and make it as difficult as possible for burglars by taking a few simple precautions.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Waldram, Nottinghamshire Police’s lead for burglary, said: “Burglars are often opportunistic thieves, looking for the easiest way of getting into your home without being seen or disturbed.

“We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure your front and back doors and your windows are kept locked, even when you’re in the house.

“There are also steps people can take to remove the temptation for burglars by keeping possessions out of sight and making it seem like someone’s at home.”

The warning comes after a burglar was recently jailed for three years and four months after breaking into a home in Wollaton while one of the occupants was asleep upstairs.

Nathan Furnell, 34, of no fixed address, jumped out of a window after he was disturbed by a woman who was awoken by the sound of her money box being moved in her bedroom.

She saw Furnell who was putting a laptop down the front of his trousers. Furnell, who had broken into the home through the back door, had also taken a phone and other valuables before he climbed out of the bedroom window, dropping to the pavement, and then ran off.

A short time after the burglary Furnell was spotted on CCTV at a nearby garage. He was swiftly identified by police and was arrested and subsequently charged in relation to the burglary which happened in Bramcote Lane on 21 March 2019.

Furnell went on to plead guilty to burglary and he was jailed for three years and four months when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on March 3, 2021.

DCI Waldram added: “As a force we treat reports of burglary with the utmost importance and we continue to work hard to catch criminals and bring burglars like Furnell to justice but we also need residents to carry on working with us and follow crime prevention advice as we want to do everything we can to prevent burglaries from happening in the first place.

“Many burglaries happen because a door or window has been left unlocked, which is really an open invitation for burglars.

“We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure your front and back doors and your windows are kept locked, even when you’re in the house.

“There are also steps people can take to remove the temptation for burglars by keeping possessions out of sight and making it seem like someone’s at home.”

Some simple crime prevention tips for your home include:

* Make sure that all of your door and window locks are working properly and ensure that doors and windows are locked at all times.

* If you’re out all day use a timer switch to operate the lights to make it look like someone is at home. Change the times that the lights come on to simulate an occupied home. Drawing the curtains or closing blinds, preventing people from looking into your home, can also help make a difference.

* Make sure your front door is well lit. Use dusk to dawn lighting that automatically comes on as it gets dark.

* Don’t open your door unless you know who it is – use a door spy hole or door chain.

* Visible burglar alarms and carefully directed security lighting can deter burglars. Make sure alarms stop sounding after 20 minutes and lights don’t disturb your neighbours.

* Keep desirable items out of view to passers-by. Valuables should not be visible from windows and doors in your home.

* Ensure your house and car keys are kept in a safe place out of sight and well away from your letterbox.

* Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed.

* Consider buying a safe for personal papers, passports and small items of jewellery. This must be secured to the floor or a wall.

* Never leave garages or sheds unlocked, especially if they connect to your property.

* If you see somebody acting suspiciously report it to the police immediately by calling 101 or, in an emergency, call 999.

For more information on how to protect your home visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/document/advice-home

For more advice on how to protect your valuables at home visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/prevention/valuables

For more information on how to protect your vehicle from thieves visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/prevention/vehicle

For more advice on dealing with unexpected callers visit https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/prevention/distraction