Police issue timely note to protect against crime

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As the darker nights are almost upon us Wetherby Ward Officer Steve Atkinson issues a timely reminder about securing your property in his latest column for the Wetherby News.

It goes without saying that it is easier to commit crime in communities when your actions are concealed by darkness.

Although as I have said before Wetherby and district is a low crime area, a quick look at the crime figures I produce does see an increase once the darker nights are upon us.

In particular instances of theft and the burglary of sheds and outbuildings does see a slight increase.

I would encourage readers to carry out a quick review of your security arrangements:

* ensure garages and outbuildings have a sturdy lock

* check your security lighting is working and maintained

* securely store gardening equipment you will be putting away for the winter months

* if you do not have security lighting consider investing in it.

These are few considerations which may assist in preventing you or your property becoming a victim of crime.

In my monthly crime update, I remind the reader that when I speak of Wetherby and district we incorporate the following - Wetherby, Walton, Thorp Arch, Boston Spa, Bramham, Clifford, Collingham, Linton, Harewood, East Keswick, Bardsey, Scarcroft, Shadwell, Scholes, Barwick in Elemet and Aberford.

During September we have recorded 11 house burglaries or attempts across the area. The means of entry to the property is varied but unsuccessful on three occasions.

Thieves have entered through insecure doors, attacked locks and broken windows as well as forcing catches on windows.

In four of the burglaries vehicle keys have been located and vehicles stolen.

There is no particular area that appears to be targeted with the offences spread across the district.

September saw 16 recorded burglaries of sheds, garages or outbuildings.

In recent days Barwick and Scholes appears to have been worst affected with thieves targeting power tools.

There were seven theft from motor vehicles spread across the district. All were from vehicles which had been left insecure.

Considering the size of the area, the figures do remain low but readers are reminded to stay vigilant and report all suspicious activity.

The figures could be lower still if sensible precautions are taken such as ensuring your vehicle is locked.

Finally crime wise we are appealing for information regarding a recent spate of fires (arson) in the area.

The fire starter is targeting hay bales and has caused significant damage. Colleagues just over the border into North Yorkshire have advised that they also have had the same issue.

The ones recorded in our area are two in fields adjacent to Collingham and one near Thorner.

They occurred on September 15, 16, and 23.

If anyone has any information to offer please contact your local police.

You can also report via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Any such reports are treated in strict confidence.