As part of an unusually-ballsy campaign, police officers in Coventry have been wandering into unlocked houses and tweeting pictures using the #stoleninseconds hashtag. While we’re sure they had a bit of fun in the process, their main objective was to demonstrate just how easy it is for burglars to nip in and out of houses through open windows and doors.
It’s a controversial tactic and, this being 2016 and all, the Coventry service has been hit with a lot of criticism online, with keyboard warriors apparently gravely upset about the officers’ willingness to do something that could make a difference. The offending pictures have now been removed from Twitter, though it’s not clear if this had anything to do with the backlash.
The force, however, claims to have picked up positive feedback from the residents they no doubt scared the shit out of, which is a good thing. The team will now have a good laugh about it over a cup of tea and a hobnob, and review the success of the tactics.
“Neighbourhood police teams have been on patrol to deter such offences, look for suspects, and to offer crime prevention advice to residents,” said Coventry Police Chief Inspector Helen Kirkman. “If they find a door or window left open I think people would want officers to check everything is OK at that address and not to just walk on by.
"We encourage our police teams to be proactive and creative in their use of social media to engage with the public and get messages across. We haven’t received any complaints from residents but obviously we will take on board social media comments.” [CoventryObserver]