Bobby the burglar out and about
BOBBY the burglar has been out and about in North Somerset to make sure houses are secure over the Christmas holidays
BOBBY the burglar has been out and about in North Somerset to make sure houses are secure over the Christmas holidays.
Weston's PC Steve Burrough has been roaming the streets in his disguise, looking for security blunders and advising people about protecting their homes.
Bobby made an appearance in 1999 to view properties through the eyes of a burglar and pointed out open windows and doors, poorly lit areas and potential hazardous hot spots for crime.
This month Bobby returned to tour around Hutton, Yatton, Mead Vale, Worlebury, Pill, Bournville, Backwell and parts of Weston town centre.
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PC Burrough said: "The best place for security has definitely been Hutton. Lots of people there came up and spoke to me, chatting about their own security and the village.
"It's obvious the residents take security very seriously and they care about their area.
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"One person in Hutton actually came up to me and said he had seen me walking around the village and wanted to know what I was doing. He was obviously on the ball and knew I looked out of place.
"I noticed he had a copy of the Mercury and told him to turn to last week's feature on me."
Bobby the Burglar has noticed several problems with security on his walks and has reminded people to be extra safe.
* Lock all side gates with a secure padlock. Don't make it easy for a burglar to get into the back garden where they cant be seen from the road.
* If you have an alarm system, use it, even if you are only popping to the shops. Some residents set them when they go away for the weekend but not when they are only out for an hour. You don't know when the burglar will strike.
* Lock all doors and windows every time you go out.
* During winter it is tempting to leave the car running on the drive to warm it up. Leaving the keys in the ignition is an invite for theft.
* Don't leave expensive gadgets such as sat navs, iPods or mobile phones on display.
PC Burrough said: "People have been joining in the fun as well as listening to the serious message about security.
"In Yatton people in a car shouted 'Bobby' as they drove past but they don't get their prizes if they don't stop me."
Everyone spotting Bobby the Burglar by making themselves known to him will go into the prize draw with a chance to win one of the three super security prizes on offer.
Additionally, the first 10 people to make themselves known to Bobby will receive a free timer switch.
As part of the beat the burglar initiative, three local security companies have agreed to provide prizes valued at around £850.
DS Securities is offering a fully fitted burglar alarm system valued at £500.
Weston Architectural Ironmongery and Key Centre will survey the home of another prize-winner and fit quality locks, as required, up to the value of £250.
And PJB Security will supply a top of the range garage door security device called a Garage Defender including fitting valued at £100.
PC Burrrough added: "The funniest thing was when a group of elderly ladies waiting for the bus saw me coming up the street. Their heads all spun round at the same time like they were watching a tennis game.
"I only had a few minutes to take down their names and address so they could be entered in the prize draw before their bus had to go.