A SECURITY company is urging the public to take measures to protect their properties in light of a spike in “distraction burglaries” since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Thieves have reportedly been posing as NHS workers offering virus tests in order to rob vulnerable victims.
Security company Boundary is encouraging homeowners to “always ask for identification” if approached by a stranger at the door.
They warn that lockdown practices have led to a relaxation in security practices, which could leave many exposed.
Robin Knox, CEO of Boundary, said: “As we continue to live in lockdown, many of us are guilty of relaxing our home security measures, including leaving windows open or back doors unlocked to let children come and go into the garden.
“It is for these reasons that we are encouraging people to follow simple and practical measures to safeguard their homes and avoid the trauma of being burgled.
“Consider varying your routine. While we are all indoors for the majority of the day, lots of us are getting into a routine of a run or walk before or after working hours, leaving the property vacant.
“Many burglaries are committed by someone living close by, who can watch and learn a routine, so consider mixing it up.
“If you have deadlocks on windows already, use them. If breaking into a home risks attracting attention due to excessive noise, risk of injury or increased time on site, a thief is less likely to follow through.”
He continued: “Sadly, there have been increasing reports of distraction burglaries since the outbreak of COVID-19, with criminals posing as NHS workers going door-to-door conducting fake virus tests. If someone comes to your door, always ask for identification.
“Vulnerable people who are isolating are also being targeted by thieves offering to do their essential shopping. Only rely on trusted friends, families or neighbours.
“Finally, lock up expensive items like gardening tools or bikes, and keep valuables out of sight away from prying eyes walking past”.
In Scotland, the latest figures from the Scottish Government revealed there were 13,777 thefts by housebreaking, equating to 37 per day last year.