Residents complacent about home security

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 12:00am

Sai Kung residents have been urged to install burglar alarms and lock up after a sharp increase in break-ins.

A police chief said yesterday that residents of the seaside suburb 'feel too safe' and should take more precautions.

In a quarter of the 226 burglaries last year, intruders gained entry through an unlocked door or window.

Wong Tai Sin police district commander Ian Seabourne said many people in the area left their doors and windows open when they were not at home.

'Residents in Sai Kung feel too safe because they know there's a very low crime rate and they don't take any precautions.'

He said there had been a sharp increase in burglaries in the area in the first half of last year.

Urging residents to install home security alarms, he said: 'We need their help. The area is too big. The police cannot cover it 24 hours a day.'

Burglaries have shown signs of dropping this year, however, with 22 cases in the first two months compared with 53 in the same period last year.

Mr Seabourne said police believed they had smashed a gang of sharp-dressing professional burglars with the arrest last month of two men who had broken into a house in the Marina Cove luxury development.

He said the burglars dressed in suits and drove expensive cars to avoid suspicion.

He also warned residents to beware of decoration workers. He said such workers committed 40 per cent of the burglaries in the area.

'People have to be careful of decoration workers because they have all the tools and reasons to be there when questioned by the police.'

Police will visit all villages in the district to remind local residents to watch out for burglaries as part of a six-week anti-village house burglary campaign.

Launched yesterday, the campaign, also includes an exhibition of home security equipment.