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Rise in ‘lock-snapping’ home burglaries

By Joe Sweeney | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

A senior Wolverhampton councillor is warning homeowners to safeguard their properties, after police reported a surge in ‘lock-snapping’ burglaries in recent weeks.

Councillor Linda Leach, for Bilston North, said residents across the city needed to check their door and window locking mechanisms to ensure they were snap-resistant.

“Lock-snapping is a burglary technique which involves snapping a particular type of lock cylinder in two by applying the right amount of force and removing the outside part to expose the locking mechanism,” she said.

“Then, once the locking mechanism is exposed, it’s open to tampering which allows the door to be unlocked using simple household tools.

“Now that the dark nights are drawing in and it gets dark so early, we need to be more vigilant about our safety at home.

“A security system is perhaps the best aid to helping us feel safe, but this could be costly. However, there are a lot of other precautions people can take to make it harder for burglars to gain entry.

“Make sure door frames are strong and the hinges are protected. I would recommend people use a deadlock or even a padlock on doors. And always lock doors when you leave the house, even if it’s just to go in the garden,” she added.

Tina Fallon, police, engagement and consultations officer for Wolverhampton Partnerships, said: “Unfortunately, Wolverhampton has seen a rise in lock-snapping burglaries in recent weeks.

“Always lock front doors from inside, in particular UPVC front doors that have handles, as these are often left unlocked when people are in their house – and burglars know this.

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“Residents need to check their UPVC or Euro-cylinder door lock to see if it is snap-resistant. It should be stamped with a three-star Kitemark, and if it isn’t the lock should be changed to either a Diamond-approved cylinder or a one-star cylinder with a two-star handle for maximum protection.”

Councillor Leach, who is the council’s cabinet member for adults, warned homeowners to also lock gates and sheds and not to leave expensive items on display so that they can be seen through windows from outside.

“When it gets dark, I would advise people to close all blinds and curtains. You may not be able to see outside, but people can see in,” she said.

“Intruders also love sliding doors, so be sure to use a window bar or dowel in the track to keep the door from being forced open.

“Try to make your house look as occupied as possible when you are not there. If you’re going on a long holiday, use the Royal Mail’s ‘keep safe’ service to look after any post while you are away. Mail sitting on the doorstep is a sign no-one is home.”

West Midlands Police are now working in partnership with Selecta DNA to offer local residents a 50 per cent discount on property marking kits. For full details go to https://www.wmnow.co.uk

Joe Sweeney

By Joe Sweeney
@JoeSweeneyLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Wolverhampton.

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