Household burglaries trending down as temperatures drop

Domestic burglaries are down, but city householders are still returning home to scenes like this.
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Domestic burglaries are down, but city householders are still returning home to scenes like this.

Cold and crime don't appear to go together. That's if Palmerston North's recent household burglary figures are anything to go by.

It may be cold comfort for those who have been broken into, but the lowered temperatures seem to be keeping the house-breakers at bay. 

For the first week of July, only 10 burglaries were reported, according to details provided by Neighbourhood Support.

Domestic burglaries are down, but burglaries continue to be a bane of city life.
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Domestic burglaries are down, but burglaries continue to be a bane of city life.

Palmerston North's acting Neighbourhood Support field officer Marja Waltmann said the week had the lowest amount of reported residential break-ins so far this year.

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There has been a gradual decline in the number of residential burglaries since the end of April.

At that time, the city was averaging 30 break-ins a week, though it was was comparatively lightly hit in the second week of April, with what was then the 12-monthly low of 11 burglaries.

Waltmann said, anecdotally, there would be a decline in burglaries over winter, with the break-in rate climbing as the weather warms and the countdown to Christmas commences.

She said that the Neighbourhood Support figures were for burglaries reported in a week and some may have happened earlier, for example when someone had returned from holiday and discovered their house ransakced.

Police the figures are no cause for complacency.

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"Thieves operate at all times of the year and in all weather conditions," said Inspector Dave White.

He wasn't prepared to put the low burglary rate down to increased police effectiveness and stressed the need for householders to continue taking precautions.

He said police have been receiving calls recently about suspicious door knockers.

"These people normally use the excuse that they are looking for a person you have never heard of, or a similar such story. Often these people are looking for an unoccupied house to break into."

Residents should never let these people into their homes and should contact police immediately, he said.

Thefts of and from cars continued to be a problem in the city. White said offenders were largely targeting items that were left visible.

He said cars should not be left unlocked, even in a home driveway or carport, and valuable items should never be left in a vehicle.

 - Stuff

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