BURGLARS forced their way into 956 homes across South Yorkshire last year by tampering with door locks, new figures have revealed.
The South Yorkshire Police database recorded a month-by-month rise with 54 offences recorded in January, 66 in June and 140 in December.
Police are now urging residents to upgrade their household security in a bid to beat the burglars and keep their properties safe.
The force said criminals have been targeting in particular doors where a standard issue Eurolock is fitted.
Crime reduction officer John Shillito said these locks are cheap to manufacture and install and easy to damage, allowing criminals to force their way into homes within seconds.
“We have seen a rise in South Yorkshire,” he said.
“It is not of epidemic proportions but it is something people need to be aware of.”
“The best advice is to replace Euro profile locks – if you have a uPVC or composite door, the odds are it will have a Euro profile lock – a cylinder-type key lock.”
“When they were first brought in they used to cost around 70p to manufacture and builders were putting them in everything – they are still the most widely used lock today.”
Mr Shillito says the problem is that these types of locks are often too big, so they stick out and are easy to grip and can then be bashed out or snapped off.”
“Anyone with concerns should call their crime reduction officer or a local master locksmith because changing a lock is very simple to do and can make a huge difference to your security,” he added.
PC Shillito’s advice is echoed by Avocet Hardware, a leading UK lock maker.
Michael Tuck, the company’s managing director, said: “It doesn’t matter how many hooks and deadbolts you have, it’s all down to the snap security of the Euro cylinder.”
For more help and advice on how to keep your home safe from burglars, visit the South Yorkshire Police website at www.southyorks.police.uk