My View, Steve Butler - Crime prevention challenge

Sgt Steve Butler launching the ban on off licences selling single cans of beer in Doncaster town centre
Sgt Steve Butler launching the ban on off licences selling single cans of beer in Doncaster town centre

As the warmer weather approaches I would warn residents against leaving windows and doors open, as many offences are what we would describe as sneak-in or opportunistic.

Insecure properties and vehicles account for many crimes which could so easily be prevented.

Police going round estates checking on homes with windows left open, and giving advice on how to stop the burglars getting into their property.

Police going round estates checking on homes with windows left open, and giving advice on how to stop the burglars getting into their property.

During a 24-hour period recently, officers and PCSOs from the local safer neighbourhood areas checked 166 vehicles, and of those checked 20 – or 13 per cent – were insecure.

Officers found keys in a front door which was shut and the keys were visible on the outside. The car keys were also on the bunch and the vehicle was parked on the driveway of the property.

I would ask members of the public to work with us and protect their property.

If anyone would like to speak to an officer regarding crime prevention advice, I would urge them to call 101 and ask to speak to a member of the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, or use the SYP website which will lead you to your local policing team.

Please enjoy the warm weather, but keep your valuables safe.

As I have mentioned the warmer weather brings with it challenges for crime prevention, but it also brings dangers in relation to open water, and I would encourage parents to educate their children on the dangers of swimming in open water.

Each year we hear tragic stories of young people who lose their lives by taking risks.

I would ask that Doncaster parents reaffirm the dangers of water and discuss water safety with their children.

During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children put themselves at risk of drowning. On average 40 to 50 children drown per year in the UK.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has issued the following information about water safety.

Spot the dangers! Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean you will be able to swim in cold water.

The dangers of water include: it is very cold, there may be hidden currents, it can be difficult to get out of with steep slimy banks, it can be deep, there may be hidden rubbish like shopping trolleys or broken glass, there are no lifeguards, it is difficult to estimate depth, it may be polluted and it may make you ill.

Special flags and notices may warn you of danger. Know what the signs mean and do what they tell you.

Learn about water safety signs and the flags you should look out for on a beach.

And children should always go with an adult, not by themselves.

An adult can point out dangers or help if somebody gets into trouble.

* Sgt Steve Butler, Prevent and Community Engagement Officer