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Police operation to stop insecurities 'ballooning'
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Police in Middleton are using balloons to crack down on burglary.

Supported by volunteers from the community, officers from the Middleton Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) will be putting helium balloons through open windows and doors in the area, to tackle insecurity burglaries.

The balloons are attached to a card which says ‘Why am I here?’. On the reverse of the card it explains why, with a warning to close windows and doors or have your treasured items burgled.

Police Community Support Officers will then visit the house and offer to conduct a Home Security Assessment. During this assessment, any vulnerable parts of the house will be identified and advice about locks and security will be given. Those taking part in the assessment will also be encouraged to ‘like’ the NPT’s new Facebook page for further information about crime and policing in their area.

Houses that do not have any open doors or windows will receive a leaflet congratulating them and also giving advice about burglary.

The number of insecurity-related burglaries tends to increase during the summer months as the warmer weather encourages people to leave their windows open.

Superintendent John Graves from GMP’s Rochdale Division, said: “This is community empowerment in action - local people getting involved in the fight against crime, working alongside the police to help their neighbours protect their property and be safer.

“The greater the forces of decency and honesty, the bigger impact we will have - and seeing local people volunteering, becoming more involved, and just getting stuck in is an inspiration to us all.

“We know that around one in three burglaries happen because of an insecurity - a window left open, a door left unlocked and thieves will hunt for this. This initiative is about warning decent people of the threat, and encouraging them to Lock it or lose it!

“To follow us on Facebook, people need to ‘like’ our page which you can find by searching for GMP Middleton once you have logged into your account.”

You can call anonymously with information about crime to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity who will not want your name, just your information. Your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to go to court or give a statement.

Only call 999 in an emergency or where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress.

To report crime call police on 101 or for more information visit gmp.police.uk.