My View, Sgt Steve Butler - Are your locks suitable?

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Police in Doncaster are raising awareness with residents across the borough to protect their gold jewellery and prevent being a victim of crime.

There has recently been an increase in burglaries reported in Doncaster where Asian gold jewellery was targeted. The following crime prevention advice is offered to assist members of the public to protect their valuables.

Ideally high value gold and jewellery should be stored in a bank or safety deposit box.

Photograph all items of jewellery and keep valuables in a safe place, this will assist the police in identifying the items should they ever be stolen.

Register your items on www.immobilise.com this is a free national property database system to help identify and return property back to you if anything is stolen.

Purchase a small safe and fix to a secure wall in your home.

Burglaries are committed predominantly by lock snapping or entry gained by insecure windows or doors.

As the title would suggest, this is where the lock cylinder is literally snapped in two by applying force to the cylinder.

Thieves have devised methods of snapping these types of cylinders locks in a matter of seconds and still be able to operate the lock to open the door.

This threat can be considerably reduced simply by upgrading the cylinder to one that is specifically designed to prevent this method of attack. We recommend that all vulnerable doors using Euro-Profile cylinders be upgraded to incorporate ‘Break Secure’ cylinders. Euro cylinders are mainly fitted to uPVC doors but some aluminium and wooden doors also use this type of lock.

You cannot tell from the outside if it is a vulnerable lock, it would need to be dismantled. Although this is fairly simple to do, police advice is to contact a registered locksmith for advice.

A cylinder has been designed that although it will snap, it will snap in a predetermined position leaving intact a portion of the cylinder that will still provide security and still require key operation to open, thus preventing the easy manipulating of the locking system.

A qualified locksmith can offer a full installation and upgrade service to meet your needs; or a replacement break secure euro cylinder can be purchased from any recognised DIY store.

All new cylinder locks should bear the new standard, TS007 which was introduced earlier this year.

The Master Locksmiths’ Association website www.locksmiths.co.uk also provides a list of registered locksmiths who will be able to provide advice and information and give you practical help to ensure your locks are suitable. The minimum recommendation for wooden doors is five-lever mortice locks which carry the British Standard BS3621.

If you have traditional nightlatch (Yale) fitted to your doors, do not rely on this as the only method of security.

* Sergeant Steve Butler, Prevent & Community Engagement Officer.