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Every minute of every day,
someone, somewhere is getting burgled.
It doesn't sound good.
With an average of 92 break-ins an hour, it's a huge problem.
It never ceases to amaze me
how much mess these burglars cause for people.
For the victims of these crimes,
it can take months or even years to overcome the trauma.
Everywhere in the house is completely ransacked.
Everything that we had stored was damaged.
You know, I don't have much myself.
But in this series, we're fighting back against the burglar...
Police, forcing entry! Police!
..helping you to beef up your security...
Here we go.
..while the police catch the criminals.
Oh, yeah, I feel safer now. A lot safer.
Everything's going to be fine for you, isn't it?
This is Break-In Britain - The Crackdown.
Having your home burgled is never nice.
When irreplaceable items are taken,
it can leave the victims utterly distraught.
That's right. Today I meet Muna,
who's been burgled not once, not twice, but three times.
This has happened in daylight.
How dare they be so brave and brazen enough to do this in the daytime.
Out of order. Out of order!
That's shocking luck. But we are going to make her safe, aren't we?
We're certainly going to do our best.
And I'll be with police
as they pay a surprise visit on some students.
Now, they're amongst the most common victims of burglary.
The police have found this house.
It's mad, isn't it?
You can just walk in off the street.
In this instance, it's the police calling round, keeping you safe.
But it could be a criminal ripping you off.
Leeds was once home to one of the worst domestic burglary problems
in the whole of the UK.
However, the efforts of West Yorkshire Police
have seen a great reduction in this type of crime.
But one local resident has just discovered a break-in at their home.
I've been called to a house just outside Leeds city centre
to a lady who's been burgled for the third time,
so goodness knows what state she's going to be in.
Mum of two grown-up children, Muna,
has spent the last 24 years working at a local school.
She's an upstanding pillar of the community
and strives to make a difference to the schoolchildren's lives.
But, upon returning home from work,
she's found the glass in her front door
has been smashed by an intruder.
You'd think they'd have a conscience, wouldn't you?
A conscience to not do this,
or go get help for whatever habit they've got,
for whatever reason why they've done this.
Normal people do not go round breaking into people's homes.
You just don't do it.
All of us work around here. All of us.
We're a working community, an educated community.
Muna's clearly upset.
It's a situation she knows all too well.
This is the second, third time it's happened.
If I lock the door properly, the house is secure,
I've had the windows changed.
I pay my insurance, I pay my way, I pay my taxes.
I'm beyond despair now.
I just don't know what else to do, don't know what else to think.
Fed up. I'm so annoyed. I'm calm.
Muna has a strong message to give the people
who have wreaked havoc on her home.
Stop robbing people.
Stop it. Go and get a job.
Muna's frustration with the break-in
has really taken a toll on her good nature.
I teach young people to respect people, respect space -
don't steal, don't take without asking.
Therein lies my sermon.
Being burgled once is enough for anyone,
but three times is beyond belief.
I can really feel Muna's anger.
It's horrible knowing that somebody has been in my house,
who I don't know, who I've not invited in.
It's horrible. I feel violated.
This is supposed to be somewhere that's safe for me
and when my children come home, and it doesn't feel like that right now.
-And you live here on your own?
-Yes. Me and my cat.
This has happened in daylight.
How dare they be so brave and brazen enough to do this in the daytime!
Out of order. Out of order!
Burglaries during the daytime are not uncommon.
It happens in 41% of cases.
PC Luke Riddle takes me through how the burglars managed to get in.
As we can see, we've noticed there is an indentation
on the wooden frame here,
and the beading that goes in was also dented.
It looks like they've used a tool to jemmy in
and then forced the glass, causing it to shatter.
-And they've left the tool, haven't they?
-They have, thankfully.
We noticed it dropped down the back here, just behind the door.
That's been recovered by our Scenes Of Crime.
It never ceases to amaze me
how much mess these burglars cause for people.
Can you imagine coming home to this?
How do you feel, sat in your home now after this has happened?
Praying that they don't come back.
You think they will? Are you actually fearful?
This is the third time.
I try to be a good role model.
The whole community, we try to be a good role model.
I watch them, daily.
There's so many beautiful people in this area
that come from all around the world
and we work, live, play, laugh together.
Do I look like I'm laughing now?
Muna is a big part of this close-knit community
and it's so sad to see her looking so dejected.
I don't think they realise what they do to people.
I feel sick in my stomach.
What would you say to them if they were here now?
Go and get a job.
We really need to help Muna out with this.
We want to do two things here.
We want to make sure that you feel safe here
because it's not on for you not to feel safe in your own home,
and, two, we want to make it as difficult as possible
for anyone to break into this house again. You know?
Three times is more than enough.
So what we're going to do is we're going to get our security guy
to come round, look around the place and sort it out for you.
-You're welcome. We'll sort it out.
-That would be a help.
-I hate to see this, I can feel how angry you are.
-So we'll get this sorted.
I don't think I've met anyone
who's been as emotional about a burglary as Muna has.
She's sick to the back teeth of it happening to her.
Hopefully we're going to come back tomorrow and sort the house out.
Time to call in expert opinion.
I'm hoping that crime reduction officer Nick Whitcombe
can shed some light on why it's been third time unlucky for Muna.
And it's not long before he spots a home security no-no.
I know. And that's what I said. I said to my son, "Oh, my God, look,
"they've used that and they could easily have used that."
They could have used that, cos that's the first thing I...
-Before you came home, I opened this.
-I know. I know. I know. Don't.
-My mum will just go up the wall.
Nick's top tip is to lock away anything that can be used
to break into your house.
The burglar's gone for the weak point.
Is it my fault for choosing a big, glass door?
It's not your fault at all, no, it's his fault.
But you can secure it.
The glass in here isn't security glass.
Nick thinks that changing the lock barrel
will make this door even more secure.
This is what a burglar looks at as he walks past.
As he's out doing his shopping for the day, he's thinking,
"Which house shall I use?"
You need to make your house look unattractive to the burglar.
Time for Nick's security rating on the house as it is.
This place needs to look shiny and new and we need an alarm box on it.
There's not many houses got alarm boxes on here.
This one needs to stand out because of its location.
It could be made to look far more secure from the outside.
That's what we are looking to do, and it'll make Muna, the occupant,
feel an awful lot better.
As it is now, I'm giving it...
That's a really low score but,
given that Muna's been burgled three times, it's not that surprising.
But what will Muna make of it?
..in the sense I can only do
what I can do in the constraint of what I know, and the finances.
So, yeah, I do feel pretty glum it's only a four.
I do wish it was a nine.
I want to stop the burglar.
I don't want him to come and do what he's done,
cos they've taken things that's mine.
In the aftermath of the break-in,
Muna has discovered that there were some precious handwritten memoirs
in the laptop bag, which were stolen.
Muna, who's one of six children,
had started to put together her mother's life story.
She wants to write a book about her journey
when she came from the Caribbean, from Montserrat,
to England in the '60s,
And she'd started writing this
and she asked all of us to help her and type it up on the computer.
Given that my brother had not long passed away,
I just haven't had the chance to.
But all those papers are inside the case.
Muna's 78-year-old mum doesn't have the memory she once had
and so it'll be really difficult
for the family to get back what's been lost.
It's just paper and they'll just throw it,
they probably wouldn't even understand what they're reading,
but it's really important to us.
It's always devastating when irreplaceable things are stolen,
and losing precious items
can have a more profound effect on the victim
than the break-in itself.
Hopefully our security upgrade will go some way
to easing Muna's anguish.
In the meantime, Dan is down in South Wales
on a crime-prevention mission.
Swansea, home of beautiful beaches,
Premier League football,
and more than 20,000 students.
But students, with their hi-tech lifestyles,
are more likely to have their personal property stolen.
Today is Operation Red Rock, so just so you know what it's all about.
This South Wales police team are running an operation
to raise awareness among the student population...
and they're letting me tag along.
We've done the crime-pattern analysis
and it shows there are two peaks for student crime in the Swansea area.
One is when the students first arrive
and the other peak for crime occurs just after Christmas,
after the Christmas breaks when the students come back
and they've had their Christmas presents.
So this is why the operation is going ahead now.
We've also got local residents,
and it's really important that they get the message as well.
Crime Reduction Officer Tony Payne is the man in the know
when it comes to staying safe.
Students are quite vulnerable because, of course,
they're on their own quite often for the first time
-and life lessons can be very hard to learn.
And there's a reason why student houses
are often targeted by low lives.
These tend to be houses in multiple occupation,
and what happens is five people will live there,
one person will forget to lock the door, leave a window open,
and that creates the vulnerability and the opportunity for a criminal.
How many burglaries happen when the door is unlocked?
It can be up to 40% of the time that doors and windows are left open
and there's no sign of forced entry when we're investigating the crime.
Burglars are out there looking for the opportunity.
And if you try a door handle and it's open,
you're three quarters of the way to committing the crime.
That means in many break-ins
the burglar doesn't actually have to break in and, according to Tony,
walk-in burglaries are far more common in student houses.
That's a worry.
And it's not just unlocked houses he's looking for.
He's spotted another area of concern.
As we were walking past the car,
I spotted a white lead connected from the radio.
It's an older car radio and there's an accessory
plugged into the radio, possibly an MP3 player.
-You can see the empty box on the back seat.
Criminals window shop and that's exactly the sort of thing that
would encourage a criminal to break a window, reach in, grab and run.
Unplug them, keep them out of sight,
cos if I can see them, a criminal certainly can.
Now, electronics are a lot cheaper these days,
sat navs and things like that that would go in a car.
Now, there's a perception that maybe crooks
-aren't that bothered about them any more. Is that true?
Unfortunately, a sat nav that's £75 in the shop
can be worth £20 in the pocket of the criminal.
They'll take the opportunity to steal what they can, to sell it,
cos it's the money they're after.
This type of operation is crucial
for spreading the most simple of crime-prevention messages -
that's to lock your door.
We'll be back later to see how Tony and his team are getting on.
Earlier in Leeds, I met Muna,
who'd been burgled for the third time.
Among the things taken were some precious handwritten memoirs
Muna had started writing with her mum.
We can't let this happen again,
so time to call on security expert Neil Goldup
to give the place an uplift.
Hi, Neil, it's Keeley.
Hello, I'm all right, thank you.
I've been to see a lady who's been burgled three times
so we really need your help and, actually, Nick's given her
a four out of ten, so you've got your work cut out a little bit.
Brilliant. You might need to really dig deep
in your box of tricks this time.
Thank you. See you soon.
We'll have Muna's place safe as houses in no time.
Muna works at the local school and really loves spending time
with young children, teaching them right from wrong.
She also helps to bring out their musical side.
From 1995, we started the choir.
We sang for Nelson Mandela when he came. We were honoured,
And also honoured to sing for the Queen at the Leeds Arena.
It just helps you to be a strong person, to be a proud person,
to share what you've learned.
And when the going gets tough, there's always something else
that you can kind of turn back to
and it just lifts your spirit,
especially when the good Lord is with you
and he's helping you along the way. It's just great.
Being around the young children
has really put a song in Muna's heart at this difficult time.
So when that horrible person came and did what they did,
and took from my house, these gorgeous people
are the ones that we are teaching, these are the future of tomorrow.
So I'm here, looking after these gorgeous people -
they're only little people -
and none of these children, they wouldn't take without consent.
Are you crazy?
Muna's passion for making a difference
by educating the next generation is really admirable.
You know, as my mum always says,
something good has to come out of something bad.
Always look for it, because it's there.
It's amazing to see Muna being so positive
and it's no wonder those adorable children have lifted her spirits.
Hopefully Neil and I can make her feel even better.
You'll never carry all this on your own,
never mind fit it all on your own, so I've come to help!
Well, thanks for that.
-It's like Aladdin's cave in here.
Don't worry, I've got it all.
So... Oh! Put that down.
What bag of tricks have we got today?
What are you going to do for Muna? I think she's really concerned.
This is the third time now she's been burgled.
Right, well, first of all, we'll make sure it doesn't happen again.
We're going to put an alarm system in for her,
upgrade the locks on this door, new window locks,
have a look at anti-climb paint,
definitely secure this, cos this has got all the tools in,
-and were going to put this new thing up.
-Oh, look at this!
-A little friend for you.
-It's a light.
-It's cute, isn't it?
-First things first, let's get this lock sorted.
So this kind of lock would just snap in the middle and fall out.
-Yeah, very easily. Very easily.
-What's this one called?
This one is a TS 007 three-star standard.
-The James Bond of locks.
James Bond is a great way of remembering this anti-snap lock.
Ask for the TS 007 three-star if you're upgrading your own.
They cost around £35 from most hardware stores.
Now it's a secure door.
Neil is securing the tool shed right by the front door
so that Muna isn't giving unwanted visitors
a means to commit the crime.
She doesn't currently have an alarm
so that's definitely being ticked off the list.
These door contacts are a good way of detecting any intruders.
And these trusty sash jammers will secure the windows
so they can't be easily opened from the outside.
Even though Muna's latest break-in was during the daytime,
we're fitting a snazzy and very bright
battery-operated security light.
No burglar likes being in the spotlight, after all.
-Oh. Well, I know that works, don't I?
-That is really, really bright.
-It is, yeah, thanks(!)
-And that's the good thing about this.
Cos lots of the security lights, well, they don't...
You've got to feed the wire through the house,
take the floorboards up, it's a bit inconvenient sometimes.
This is a really good, quick and effective piece of security
we're going to be putting up.
Our security assessment showed a weak spot
on Muna's easy-to-reach roof, and the unwanted visitors
from her previous brush with burglary climbed up this way.
But Neil has a sticky solution to stop it happening again.
It's horrible stuff to put on, but it's very effective.
Don't get it on any of your clothes
cos, if you do, you'll have to throw it away.
-That's the point of it, isn't it?
-And it doesn't dry, it stays this consistency?
If you put a good, thick coat on, it's never dries.
It goes crusty but underneath it's still wet,
so it lasts a long, long time.
This is going to really put someone off.
This anti-climb paint is just the job
to stop potential burglars in their tracks.
I certainly wouldn't fancy being covered in this stuff.
It can be picked up from around £10 for a small tin.
Cos as soon as somebody gets on there and gets a bit on them,
-they're giving up, aren't they?
-That's right, yeah.
They'll find it on them, they'll slide off it.
Burglars take their chance, don't they?
-They shouldn't be up here doing it.
-Put a thick coat on.
-I will do.
Make sure you stay in the lines as well.
-I'm sure that gungy paint
will raise the roof on Muna's security score.
Good work, Keeley.
I'm over in Swansea, and on a mission to spread
the good security word among the student population.
The team are checking for simple security slips,
like forgetting to lock your front door.
And it's not long before the police come across
an open invite to potential criminals.
Yeah, we've got a three-storey property, five bedrooms,
three of which are locked. Two bedrooms insecure.
Quantities inside, you've got a computer system, iPad, iPhone,
You've got the lounge open here, telly, music system.
-So, basically, for a burglar, this is just like a shop.
You walk in off the street.
Yeah, I've been on three storeys, nobody's... Nobody here.
I could have...
If I was a burglar, it would have been easy pickings today.
And this is why they target the area.
This isn't the first time it's happened, obviously.
And this is why we're here, you know,
to try and reiterate that to the students.
You've got to lock your doors.
-It's something so simple, but they don't do it.
-I'm stunned. Honest.
I've just got to make a phone call now to the management agency.
I'm genuinely shocked at how easy it can be
for crooks to strike it lucky.
It can happen, a burglar can walk in off the street...
-Just doing exactly the same thing now.
-What have you found here?
Another one with the door open.
My colleague is just checking now to see if there's anybody in the house.
Shall we have a look?
This house is just a few doors down.
But luckily this time there's someone home.
We're just doing a crime operation in the area,
-making people aware that insecure premises...
-You tried the front door?
-We tried the front door.
-OK, fair enough.
Were you surprised to see the police coming through your door?
Yes, certainly was, yeah.
I mean, we do see them on patrol here quite often but, yeah,
his head stuck through the door was a bit of a surprise.
You wouldn't expect a burglar
to just walk through your front door and...
Walk out with my stuff? No. Certainly not. Yeah.
So from now on do you reckon you'll be locking your front door?
Yeah, I'll think about it more, certainly. Yeah.
Even if you're at home, it's an idea to keep your doors locked.
Better safe than sorry.
All in all, it's been a successful operation,
and Tony has some wise parting words.
It's so important that you think about security
and you make sure that a criminal can't do that.
We don't want to make it too easy for them.
In this instance, it's the police calling round, keeping you safe,
but it could be a criminal ripping you off.
Back in Leeds and, unfortunately,
the police investigation into Muna's break-in has drawn a blank.
But hopefully we can right some wrongs
with the security uplift we've done.
Let's see what Crime Reduction Officer Nick makes of the changes.
So what are your first impressions of the security upgrade?
Same sort of thing that a burglar would think.
Walks up or down this little alleyway here,
looks at this house and thinks, "Shall I? Shan't I?
"No, I'll not bother,
"because it's got what looks like a brand-new alarm box,
"looks like it works."
So he knows if he got in the house he wouldn't have long,
bells would be ringing, so he'd be drawing attention to himself.
Secondly, there's some sticky gunge-grease there,
because Muna was concerned about people climbing onto the roof,
as they have done in the past.
So that will make a good mess of the burglar's clothing. So, yeah.
It's sounding good so far.
So this little fellow here is a very bright security light.
That wasn't sufficient.
We need something that the burglar will see
and be impressed by, from a distance, before they get here.
This is where they need to feel uncomfortable.
This is going to really light whoever is stood here up.
I've noticed you're already looking at this.
This is all about removing the means to commit crime
so that the burglar has to bring their own tools with them,
so that they run the risk of getting caught on the way to a crime.
Obviously the glass isn't in yet.
This is going to be done in a few days' time,
and Neil's promised to come back
and put some laminate sheeting on there as well,
cos this is how the burglar got in, they smashed through the window.
So that's going to make that secure as well,
so it's going to be a pretty good door in the end.
It is a good-quality door.
The weakness was the window, simply because it was safety glass
and not security glass, and it holds the glass in place.
So, with everything in place, what's Nick's new security score?
Are you willing to give her a few extra points?
Cos let's be honest, four out of ten?
That was bad. That was shocking.
She could knock on the door of an eight.
That's pretty good going - doubling the original score.
-You must be happy with that.
-Well, not as happy as Muna.
Not as happy as Muna.
She's very much better off than she was.
He's a tough cookie, but I can tell
Nick is secretly pleased with the difference to Muna's.
I hope the lady of the house feels the same.
-It has affected you, hasn't it?
-It's been rubbish.
My sleep's been upside down.
I'm constantly looking out of the window all the time,
constantly looking back
and making sure I've locked the gate, locked the car door.
I'm getting there, step by step, day by day.
So, originally you got a four.
He's put it up...
-..to an eight.
-I think that's pretty good. It's double what you originally got.
-I feel good.
-I feel good. Thank you so much.
-You're more than welcome.
-I will try my best.
-Come round again for a cuppa.
-We'll be back for a cup of tea, yeah.
Thank you so much.
It does help to restore my faith in humans, that we can be safe.
-Right, Muna, thank you ever so much. Oh, it works.
Well, we can't help Muna replace what she's lost,
but hopefully the improvements that we've made
mean that it won't happen again.
Those children in the choir,
they'll really help lift her spirits, I'm sure.
They were fantastic.
And I'm sure our students will be a lot more switched on,
protecting their stuff
and keeping an eye on who's coming and going from their house.
Absolutely. That's it for today. Until next time...
-Ta-ra for now.