Police suggest a number of measures to prevent house-break besides advising people to form voluntary patrol teams, writes Marri Ramu

Things started hotting up for the police and people, especially those living on city fringes, even before mercury shot up this summer. The dacoity reported on Friday at Chandanagar has sent the alarm bells ringing.

That robberies increase during summer is a known fact, but what is startling is that some daily-wage earners commit them since they do not find work in summer.

Factors like people sleeping in open areas and going out of station locking their houses for vacation make the job of the offenders easier.

These are confessions made by members of notorious dacoit gangs from Stuartpuram and Parthi in their statements to police.

Police insist that people could minimise the risk of burglary by taking some measures and mere reliance on police and their stepped-up vigil will not help. What are they?

It being hot in the night, a considerable number of people sleep outside locking their houses.

Some sleep inside but leave the doors ajar. Hence, it is better to avoid the practice. "Some burglars told us that a good number of people keep the almirah keys beneath the pillow or mattress, beneath the iron chest or inside shelves, books or clothes.

This too is to be avoided," an investigator observed. Installation of security alarms, if possible networking with nearby police station, would be helpful.

Citizens going out on vacation should make it a point to inform local police so that the latter can organise patrolling and keep a tab on the movements of suspicious characters in the area.

Instead of completely depending on the police, local youngsters can organise teams among themselves and carry out patrolling at turns.

"This is important because we cannot be at all the places all the time. It also helps in bolstering confidence of people as was proved in many areas in Kukatpally," a police official said.

Police say people spend thousands of rupees on main doors but use low quality bolts that too only one. "All the offenders need a little more force not even tools to open such doors," detectives feel.

Measures like installing an iron rod or wood plank across the doors would prevent offenders from breaking into the house.

Similarly, installing iron grills along the window frames using screws must be avoided because in many cases the burglars managed to remove the grills using a screwdriver.