Spate of burglaries pushes police chief to offer security advice


A police chief has blamed a spate of burglaries on a spell of good weather warning homeowners of security risks when leaving windows open.

Chief Inspector Jim O’Ryan insists the city still has ‘low levels of burglary’, despite at least 19 recorded burglaries and two attempted burglaries between May 1 and May 16.

This includes burglaries at two sheltered housing complexes reported over the last two months. The incidents have prompted Chief Insp O’Ryan to issue warnings to those in sheltered housing to be extra vigilant after offenders gained access through open windows or unlocked doors.

He is also advising householders to “consider purchasing a fan to keep cool” instead of leaving their windows open.

He said: “Milton Keynes continues to see historically low levels of burglary, however some recent offences have occurred at unsecure premises. As the weather gets warmer, I encourage people to ensure their property is secure. It is very tempting to leave windows and doors open, but that can be an opportunity for a thief.

“I encourage people with elderly friends, relatives or neighbours to check on them and make sure they are not leaving themselves vulnerable to being burgled.

“Milton Keynes is a safe place to live, and simple security measures can reduce the risk further.”

> Thames Valley Police recommend all residents observe the following security advice:

Always keep your own door locked when you are out, even if you are in a communal area of the complex.

Always lock your door when you are in your room overnight, when taking a sleep or watching TV so that no one can enter unnoticed.

If you have a back door always keep it locked unless you are using it at the time.

If possible keep your windows closed at night, particularly if you are on the ground floor or have a balcony. If you have locks always use them.

If you need to have the windows open for ventilation check to see if they can be locked in a slightly open trickle vent position, but remember this is not as secure as them being fully closed. Consider purchasing a fan to keep cool.

Remove keys from door and window locks, but keep them in a safe place nearby for use in case of an emergency.

Do not keep large sums of money in your home as this is a target for thieves.

Always make sure main doors and fire doors are kept closed and locked when not in use. Do not allow anyone into the complex you do not personally know.

> Kristian Smith, 39, of Normandy Way, Bletchley, has been charged in connection with two counts of burglary. He was remanded in custody.

> Abdurahmen Khalif Barkadle, 30, of no fixed abode, has also been charged with three counts of robbery and three counts of burglary.

> A 20-year-old man from Milton Keynes has also been arrested on suspicion of a series of burglaries.

He has been bailed until June 24 pending further police enquiries.