Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014 on 4:12 pm

Police offer valuable insight into the minds of convicted burglars


Convicted burglars have been helping West Yorkshire Police with crime prevention advice given out to homeowners about how to keep their houses secure and their possessions safe.

An officer from West Yorkshire Police’s Force Performance Improvement Unit has recently been interviewing offenders about what they look for while committing a burglary.

The one-to-one interviews enabled a greater insight into their knowledge, what they think, and what homeowners can do to ensure they are safe.

Windows and doors were identified as a key issue, as burglars said that many homeowners still leave them open, despite people being more “security conscious than ever”.

One said: “They still leave doors and windows unlocked or open. This is a simple thing that would help to put a burglar off or otherwise it’s easy for us and you’re done, dusted and gone before they realise.”

Another advised: “People should lock their doors, have good locks on windows and take the keys out of the doors when they’ve locked them.”

Some burglars could even identify who was on holiday and who wasn’t.

One of the convicts explained: “All the blinds are closed or there’s mail in the letterbox, papers sticking out or milk on the step sometimes.

“I just look through the window to see if I can see mail on the floor. If the blinds are closed a few days on the trot you know they’re away.”

Some of the convicted burglars questioned were cautious about entering houses that looked like someone was inside, especially homes that had lights or the television on.

One said: “Lighting on upstairs puts me off, because you don’t know if someone is in or not. If people left upstairs lights on then you wouldn’t really take a chance on that.”

They also advised that valuables shouldn’t be on show, and for people to stop advertising cars by putting them in their garages instead.

West Yorkshire Police conducted the interviews ahead of a burglary campaign, which will be launched next month in April.

Force Crime Prevention Officer Chris Joyce said: “Getting into the mind of a burglar makes you realise how simple and easy it can be to prevent crime in the first place.

“The knowledge passed on is extremely helpful, and will help us keep our communities safe, reduce criminal activity, and deter those people thinking of committing crimes.”

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