'˜Alarm' over rise in Lisburn burglaries

There has been a rise in burglaries in the Lisburn area in recent months prompting a call from local MLA Paul Givan for the police and the local community to work together to tackle the problem.

Mr Givan’s comments come after detectives issued an appeal for information following the latest burglary at a house in the Harmony Hill area of Lisburn on Tuesday, February 16.

Sometime between 10.30am and 4.30pm the house was entered and two rooms were ransacked and a sum of money was stolen.

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Detective Sergeant James Johnston said: “I would appeal to anyone who may have noticed anyone acting suspiciously in the area between these times to contact Detectives at Reactive and Organised Crime at Lisburn on the non-emergency number 101.

“Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

The police have also issued a reminder to local people to ensure their homes are secure at all times. Detective Sergeant James Johnston continued: “It is imperative that people remember to close and lock windows and doors at night or when the house is unoccupied.

“If your doors aren’t secure, neither is your home so do not make it an easy target for criminals - close it, lock it and check it. Don’t leave keys in plain view or in a door lock. Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place.

“Take photographs of all valuables, for example jewellery, ornaments etc. Photographs can also help identify you as the rightful owner if your item is recovered. Finally, don’t forget that sheds and garages are part of your home too.

Urging local people to help the police in detecting criminals in the city, Mr Givan added: “The alarming rate of burglaries needs to be tackled by the police and local community working together to report suspicious activities and ensure every effort is made to secure your home.

“A burglary not only causes financial hardship but it violates the privacy of people’s homes and can have long term consequences of feeling insecure in your own home particularly for older people who are vulnerable.

“The clearance rates for burglaries is incredibly low with the overwhelming majority of cases never being solved and the culprits evading justice. The failure to catch those responsible damages confidence in the police and more needs to done to support the police and tackle this serious problem.