Don't make it easy for lowlife burglars
WARWICK RASMUSSEN DEPUTY EDITOR
OPINION: Having your home burgled and possessions stolen is one of the more invasive things to happen in anyone's life.
You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't been a victim or, at the very least, doesn't know someone who has been hit.
In yesterday's Manawatu Standard we laid out the burglary statistics for Palmerston North. Broken down by police suburbs it helped give a clear picture over a number of years, to see if any trends were emerging.
The most obvious trend is that more burglaries are occurring and it's not always by a man dressed in gloves and a balaclava in the dead of night.
More often the attacks are pre-planned, targeted and audacious, carried out in the middle of the day.
Your average lowlife burglar would rather no one was at home when they were stealing instead of having to deal with a possible standoff or confrontation.
Of course there should be fitting punishment for those caught stealing - and receiving - but homeowners and residents could do themselves some favours by limiting the risk of becoming another statistic.
Depending who you talk to, police either do a great job or don't take burglaries seriously. In most cases people would ring up, if only to get the ball rolling with insurance claims.
With the long weekend upon us it is probably timely for everyone to think about how they could become prey to burglars, not in a scaremongering, fearful way, but a practical sensible approach.
Making your house looked lived in and occupied is a good start as is introducing yourself to neighbours and offering to keep an eye on things while each other is away. Keeping your insurance up to date and a record of your possessions, and their details, will also help.
These may be small steps, but they will help lessen the risk of being targeted.
Part of the problem is that many homes have small or lightweight items that are easily taken and sold on. There are ways, especially online, to track down stolen goods, as well as marking or tagging items so they can be found.
Above all, people do need to call police when they are burgled and give as much information as you can.
Hopefully, though, you will never need to.
It's been a long break between long weekends and at the time of writing the weather isn't meant to be too flash. Regardless of where you are and what you're up to, the team here at the Standard hopes you have a safe and enjoyable time - if you manage to get the time off from work that is.
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