Christmas gone and you have some new goodies

Over Christmas you may have been lucky enough to have received some rather nice gifts. 

What did you do with the packaging? Left it by the roadside for the recycling collection? What better advert to the thief of where to find some new things to steal. Where possible fold the boxes inside out, or tear the box up, or package it in something else, or take it to the recycling centre yourself. 

How many of us have thought about recording the serial numbers or property marking it. Be it a cycle, electrical goods, garden equipment or mobile phone it may have a serial number. You can record your serial numbers free or charge at and there are a number of property marking products available like indelible pens, SelectaDNA, SmartWater, CRE mark by CRE products to name but a few.

With jewellery and antiques don’t forget to take photographs of it, include an “Object ID card” or ruler in a photograph to give it a scale. Some of these property marking products may also be suitable and you can now upload images to Immobilise too.  

Mobile phone and personal music devices:Don’t forget to make a note of the IME number of a mobile phone, to find it key in *MESSAGE KEY MISSING: '06', with this if it’s stolen you can block it. Many TV’s, mobile phones, computers and other electronics come pre-loaded with security and/or tracking software, make sure that it is activated. If you are storing valuable college work or other on that nice new laptop don’t forget to back up your work elsewhere just in case you lose the laptop.  You can download an “App” on mobile phones to find your phone and more importantly wipe that data stored on it, check your “App store” or mobile phone provider.

When texting or talking on phones, or listening to music remain “in touch” with your surroundings, a number of road accidents, thefts and assaults occur when we fail to note what’s going on around us, don’t forget to pass this advice on to children. 

Have a look at the webpage which has been updated and refreshed as a part of an ongoing project bring the crime prevention advice on the Essex Police webpage up to date.

Another good source of crime prevention advice is:

Stephen Armson-Smith

Essex Police, Braintree & Uttlesford District

Crime Prevention Advisor


12:20, 21 Dec 2017 by Steve Marriott

Twelve tips for Christmas and after

1.       With all the additional Christmas food and drink, presents and other goodies stored within garages and outbuildings, ensure that they are out of sight and that it’s securely locked with good quality well fitted locks. Treat your shed to a shed alarm.

2.       Avoid tempting window shopping burglars; don’t leave presents and valuables on full view in front of a window.

3.       Don’t attract burglars to your home by leaving it in darkness; leave lights on timers, perhaps treat yourself to a TV simulator too.

4.       Lock gates and keep unwanted visitors from getting to the rear of your home.

5.       Whether an evening out or Christmas shopping keep your bags, handbags, wallets and mobile safe. Busy places make it easier for the sneak thief, so be alert at all times.

6.       Don’t leave valuables and gifts on display in your car.

7.       When you go to leave the house and find that your car is all iced up, don’t leave it unattended with the engine running to de-ice it. It only takes a second to steal your car and it would invalidate any insurance claim.

8.       Attending a Christmas party – make sure that you have considered how you are getting home in advanced and avoid using unlicensed taxi’s. Ensure you drink responsible and are aware of your surroundings, whilst keeping your drink and belongings safe.

9.       Watch what you put on social media; check your settings to ensure that you are not broadcasting when you are not at home and the lovely gifts you have received.

10.   After Christmas don’t advertise your nice gifts to the thieves by putting the empty boxes out for collect, disguise them, fold them up inside out or put them inside other non-descript box.

11.   Record your new property free on , install tracking and security apps on relevant electrical and computer products.

12.   Have a Great Christmas and New Year!!   For further crime prevention advice see:


Stephen Armson-Smith 74324

Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor

Architectural Liaison Officer

Braintree and Uttlesford Districts

Telephone 101 extension 407110

Mobile 07525 409720


14:05, 10 Nov 2017 by Steve Marriott

During the summer

Before you turn in for the night do the “rounds” some may think it is a bit over the top, but you will feel more confident and not become a victim of “the one time I forgot to shut the window……” Check the simple things:- 

  1. Cars on the drive? – are the windows shut and doors locked (don’t assume that by pressing the button on the remote it is locked, try the handle too)? Remove valuables from sight. It is worth parking the least expensive car in front of the more expensive one.
  2. Side gate shut and locked, sheds and garages secure?
  3. Doors closed and locked, don’t forget on that UPVC multi-locking door - you may have lifted the handle but until you turn the key on the inside you have not locked all the locks in place.
  4. Don’t forget to check that patio door, someone may have closed it but did they lock it?
  5. Windows, lift the blinds or open the curtains and check them, the sun may have been on the TV so they were drawn with the window open because it was hot. Ensure all accessible windows are closed and locked, if you live in a bungalow or have flat roofs in unoccupied rooms keep the windows closed and locked but if you need a window open for ventilation in occupied rooms lock the big window and just have the small one open. If you only have bigger windows consider a lockable window restrictor or a small alarm sensor on the window to detect entry.
  6. Check unnecessary appliances are turned off, and make sure in case of fire that keys are readily accessible to occupants but not in view of possible burglars.
  7. If you have an alarm, activate the zone for the unoccupied area.
  8. Car keys, don’t take them to bed with you, where possible leave them in noisy drawer/location (if you don’t have an alarm, consider a shed alarm or similar to cover that specific area).
  9.  If you do hear a suspicious noise in the house that you are not happy with dial 999, if you have an intruder remember your life is more important than your property, but do get a good description and if possible car index number.


Last bit of advice, going on holiday? Stop the milk and newspaper deliveries and look after each other, get a neighbour and/or friend to keep an eye on your property, ensure neighbours have contact numbers for a key holder and where possible let them park their car on your drive. Basically if you create the illusion that your house is occupied it is less likely to be broken into.


Stephen Armson-Smith .   Essex Police

Crime Prevention Officer – Braintree & Uttlesford districts

Police non-emergency no. 101, extn: 407110

08:41, 04 Jul 2017 by Steve Marriott


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