and Crime Prevention Advice
Unoccupied homes are more vulnerable in the long dark evenings of winter. Making homes more secure need not involve expensive locks and alarms. Fit doors and windows with good quality locks. Fit a door chain or bar and always check callers have verifiable identity. Ensure garage and shed are secure also as they too contain valuable goods. Mark valuables with a UV pen, acid etching, tamper resist labels, micro-chips, SmartwaterTM as appropriate. Put a sticker on the door to show that things are marked.
Make your home look occupied at all times. An unoccupied home is more likely to be targeted by a burglar. A light and radio placed on a timer switch, a thoughtful neighbour removing a parcel from the step and putting out and putting back wheely bins will help. Consider fitting PIR operated lights outside. The occurrence of dusk time burglaries increase in the longer evenings.
Tall, lockable gates, high fences and prickly plants will deter intruders from reaching the rear and sides of the property. However, they should be kept low next to the road to enable good visibility from caring neighbours and police patrols.
Secure windows, paying particular attention to those on the ground floor and those above flat roof areas. Use those locks and bolts and make sure the keys are out of sight. Keep wheely bins away from where they could be used as a 'ladder'.
After dark wear light coloured clothing so you can easily be seen by drivers. Cyclists are reminded to check their reflectors are clean and lights working and used at night. A reflective jacket is quite cheap and could save a life. Always secure your bike with a good quality lock.
Trust your instincts, if you think something is suspicious report it and encourage your neighbours to do the same. Report suspicious incidents immediately. Members of the public have reported unfamiliar cruising vehicles, aggressive door-step traders and strangers approaching the rear of neighbour's property leading to arrests. A vehicle number gives the police a good head-start.
Call 999 if a crime is in progress or 101 at other times.