Annual after dark campaign begins

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Tayside Police is appealing to members of the public to heed the home security and crime prevention advice given as part of the annual After Dark Campaign.

The clocks changed on Sunday past and as winter sets in residents are being warned criminals start to capitalise on the shorter days.

With the prolonged hours of darkness, comes the increased activity of opportunist thieves. After Dark is an annual operation run by Tayside Police. It is aimed at promoting home security and allowing people to feel safe in their own homes during the long winter nights.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Wilson said: “Traditionally, the number of break-ins go up during the darker nights and we are hoping homeowners and tenants will take every step possible to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime, by following the crime prevention steps promoted through Operation After Dark.”

Over the next few weeks, officers will carry out high profile foot and mobile patrols in all parts of Tayside, aimed at preventing the number of house break-ins, and After Dark information cards will be available with advice on simple safety measures to try and combat the criminals. Top After Dark crime prevention tips include leaving a light on or setting timer switches to make your house look occupied and less inviting to a prospective thief.

Make sure all sheds, garages and outhouses are secure and that all garden tools and ladders are locked away.

Remove items of value which are situated near windows and set the blinds to make sure thieves can’t window shop.

Detective Inspector Callum Leith, said: “I would ask people to be good neighbours and to look out for others living around them, particularly the elderly and more vulnerable in the community. Ask them if they need any help to make their homes safer and keep an eye out for them and anyone coming to their door.”

Anyone who sees any suspicious activity in their community, or who has information that could assist officers with any enquiries, should get in touch with Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222. Information can also be passed on anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.