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Operation Handle Plus, St Helens

November 23, 2012, 3:57 pm

Officers in St Helens have been working with partners in the local authority and with housing associations as part of ongoing Operation Handle Plus, encouraging residents to keep their properties, out buildings and cars secure.
A number of officers, along with partners, have been patrolling the area in the evening and through the night, testing door handles on homes, cars, sheds and gates to ensure that they are secure. If they find anything unlocked or insecure, they are highlighting the risks to residents and have so far carried out over 450 security assessments, giving advice on how homes can be made more secure.
Acting Chief Inspector Derek Riley said: “We recognise the impact of burglary on victims and we are doing all that we can to help people become more aware of how secure their homes really are.
“Operation Handle Plus is about checking people’s property and providing advice tailored to their needs, letting them know if their home was locked, but a side window was open, or if a lap top was on display.
“We have tried nearly 2,000 addresses across the area so far and I think people have on the whole been very pleased to see us out there. It is better to be given advice about security than find yourself a victim of burglary.
“One of the main issues that we have found is that UPVC doors with “paddle” handles are being left insecure. I think there is a lack of understanding that these kind of doors have to be locked with a key or they are not really locked at all, and of course if your house is not secure, it might not be covered by your insurance.”
Following this crime prevention advice could help you prevent yourself becoming a victim of burglary:

• UPVC doors should be secured by lifting the handle to activate the bolts and ensuring the key is turned, as the latch itself will not provide adequate security.

• Securing access to the back of the property can act as a deterrent to offenders and spiked toppings or other anti-scaling measures can be fitted to the top of fencing or gate posts at the side of the premises providing adequate warning notices are displayed.

• Residents should also consider fitting an intruder alarm and internal locks, fitted to rear kitchen and living room doors, will help prevent a burglar gaining access to the rest of the house.

• Remember that an alarm system requires regular maintenance. One of the main reasons for false alarm activations is due to worn out batteries.

• Consider the installation of security lighting – this could be simple Passive Infra Red (PIR) operated or dusk till dawn lights, which can now be fitted with cost efficient energy saving bulbs.

• Use a timer light to operate internal lighting. These can operate a table lamp to indicate that there is someone at home. Another could be set to come on and off at random in another room.

• If you are considering replacing your windows and doors look for products that carry police approved ‘Secured by Design certification.

• If you need further crime reduction advice contact your local neighbourhood policing team.
Learn more with our Operational Handle Plus video at:

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