ESSEX POLICE: Home Security a little practical advice.
Most burglars will look for what they regard as the easy touch. So, they will seek out a property which appears to have little or no security, or which may even have an open window or door making it physically insecure. Burglars will also look for properties which are not visible to onlookers, reducing their chance of being caught in the act.
To assess the security of your home or business premises, imagine you are the burglar, and consider the questions that a typical burglar will ask themselves:
How am I going to get in?
Are there any valuable items visible through windows or doors?
Does the house next door look more of a difficult job to break into?
If the answers to any of these questions are 'yes', the chances are that the burglar will also notice that, and the small possibility of your becoming a victim of burglary will have just increased.
Here are a few helping hints:-
Lighting, if overlooked or the chance of being seen burglars will prefer to go elsewhere, so get some decent lighting on your house. Dusk till dawn on the front, not only can you see who is at your door, but also when you come home you have a welcoming light. At the rear fit a motion activated light, but ensure you set and site it so animals and plants don’t keep turning it on as that only creates more alarm.
Is there clear unobstructed access to the rear? Burglars will prefer to gain access out of sight at the rear. Where possible fence and gate access to rear (and lock that gate), top this with some trellis or spiky toppings (NB: the spiky topping requires a warning notice). How about some defensive planting, what’s this you ask……something like Berberus, Pyracantha or Hawthorn around perimeter fencing or anything else you wish to protect i.e. domestic fuel tank (some garden centres sell more established plants).
Windows:- ensure that they have at least two locking points, if not fit visible window locks (most modern UPVC windows although having one handle this in fact engages a multi locking system).
Doors: - In addition to the “Rim Lock” fit and use a five lever mortice lock. Most UPVC doors as with windows use a multi locking system, make sure you know how to use it. When inside pulling the handle up will engage all the locks but will only lock the centre lock. To lock them all in place you must use the key (if in doubt try it before the burglar does, and then he only needs a small screwdriver for force that centre lock on its own). Fire Safety you must have the key readily available in case of fire, but not in view of any windows or letterbox.
French doors: - Most modern doors have multi locking systems that lock top, bottom and at the centre, on older doors in addition to the centre lock if each door does not have locks to the top and bottom fit additional ones. Keys: - keep them out of sight of the door, but ensure everyone one in the house can find the key to get out in case of fire.
Bins :- Secure bins and other objects away from buildings and walls so that they cannot be used as a climbing aid.
Illusion: - Make the house appear occupied, if going away get a neighbour to open and close curtains, and put rubbish out for you. Let the neighbour park one of their cars on your driveway, it does them a favour too. Table lamps inside on a timer or “dusk till dawn”, a radio on a talking programme, it all helps. Don’t let post and newspapers build up at the front door
Property marking: - If your property is marked with your post code/house number is reduces the value to a thief, visible marking is best then the thief knows it’s marked too. If your kit comes with a sticker for the window display it, that way even before the thief comes in he know your property will be harder to sell on. With jewellery and small items photograph them, and record the details, if the item has a serial number make a note of it.
The shed or out building: - Put a decent lock on it and keep it locked. DIY stores/Argos sell shed alarms at reasonable prices as an added deterrent and where possible lock and chain large items to the floor or walls and with smaller items keep them in a secure box. A lot of the above re lighting and property marking also apply to the outbuilding too.
All this said the chances of you being a victim of crime is remote and even more so with a little thought.
Another point if you see something suspicious please report it, it may save you from being the next victim. Call 999 if it is happening at that time or if after the event 101 or you can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
Essex Police Crime Prevention Advisor for the Braintree and Uttlesford Districts.
Police are urging residents to be vigilant after a spate of house burglaries in Braintree and Great Notley.
The incidents took place between February 9 and 25, including nine between February 21 and 22.
A number were at addresses on the Fairview and Kings Park estates and in many cases, rear patio doors have been forced to gain entry.
Detective Constable Alan Lewis, of Braintree CID, who is leading the investigation said: “Residents can be assured that we are working around the clock to deter, catch and bring burglary suspects to justice.
“We are carrying out extra patrols in higher risk areas and visiting householders in close proximity to burgled houses to offer advice and reassurance.
“It is still vital for people to do everything they can to ensure their homes and possessions are as secure as possible.
“By taking simple steps such as locking windows and doors at all times, and keeping valuables and car keys out of sight, fitting security lights and burglar alarms.
“This will go a long way to greatly reduce the threat of opportunistic criminals targeting your home.”
Witnesses or anyone with information about these burglaries are asked to call Braintree CID on 101.
Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org
In some cases burglars are breaking into houses while you sleep with the intention of finding your car keys and stealing your car and any other small items they find on the way, what can I do?
Firstly before you turn in for the night check that all doors, ground floor windows and easily accessible windows are closed and locked.
PVCu doors – don’t forget that the door is not fully locked until you have lifted the inside handle and turned the key or thumb-turn. When replacing a Europrofile lock cylinder ensure that you get a BS1007 three star anti-snap, anti-bump lock cylinder.
If you have an intruder alarm and can do so activate the downstairs zone when you go to bed.
To stop the burglar getting to the vulnerable windows and doors to the rear ensure that side gates are closed and locked.
Please also ensure that you put your car keys somewhere safe and out of sight, when you return home. Put your car keys in a drawer (preferably one that is noisy to open) or some other secure place, but don’t take them up to the bedroom with you.
If you have cars of different values, please park the higher value car in your garage. If you can’t do this, please park the lower value car in front of the higher value car, as the thieves are more likely to target high value cars and will be deterred if they can’t easily drive such a car away from the scene.
With high value cars consider the fitting of a tracking system, word of caution you get what you pay for, look for a system that uses RF frequency, 3 or 4G phone networks SIM as well as satellite connection GPS. There are even systems where you can “Geo-fence” the vehicle location so that if it moves beyond this the tracking system is activated.
For further crime prevention advice contact your local Crime Prevention Officer using the police non emergency number 101.
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