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Our Safer Homes advice aims to protect you from becoming a victim of burglary.

18 per cent of homes don't have adequate door locks; 14 per cent of homes don't have proper window locks and overall a third of burglaries result from insecure premises.

Below is our advice on how to protect your home and property, ensuring they are safe and secure and not appealing to any opportunist burglary.

You can also find more information through the links below:

 


 General prevention advice

 

  • Shut all windows and lock them when you are not using the room, at night and when you leave your property
  • Lock all front and rear doors at night and when you are out. If you have a UPVC door with a multi-point lock ensure you lift the handle and lock it with the key.
  • Put all car keys and other keys are out of sight and not in reach of windows and letterboxes. It doesn't take much for the keys to be hooked through the letterbox.
  • Leave a light on so your home looks occupied if you are going out for the evening. If you head out while it is still daylight and won't be back till after dark then a timer switches (available from most DIY stores) can be useful in turning your lights, radios and other appliances on at a set time before you get back.
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
  • Do not leave ladders and garden tools in your garden, lock them away in your shed.
  • Have an intruder alarm system installed by an approved contractor. Ensure a visible alarm box is attached to the outside of your home. Also consider fitting security lighting.
  • Use door chains and spyholes to give you extra security if someone knocks on your door. Never be afraid to turn people away. If you have concerns about anyone who has come to your door call the police.

 


Other considerations...


Summer

In the summer, due to the hotter weather, windows that have been left open whilst people are in are often still left open when people leave their homes. Ensure that when you leave your property you have closed all your windows so no one can gain access.

With the evenings being lighter for longer people are often out and about well into the evening. Again think about how your property looks, whether it will look unoccupied whilst you are out and could this look like an opportunity for a burglar. Timer switches can be useful in this instance.

Winter

In the winter the lack of lights on in a house during the darker evenings can indicate that no one is home - attracting an opportunist burglar to look further for insecurities to enter the property.

Leaving a light on while you are out and shutting the curtains helps to make a home look occupied. Timer switches can be used to turn lights on in dark evenings before you return from work. But by following the general prevention advice at the top of this page you should be able to protect your home adequately.

Going away

If you are going away from your property for an extended period, try to make your home look occupied - cancel milk and newspaper deliveries, get a friend or neighbour to collect your post and draw your curtains and use timer switches to turn the lights on in the evening, move valuables such as laptops, games consoles etc out of view. This is also a good time to ensure you have up-to-date building and contents insurance and have checked for any specific requirements relating to security.

Car Keys

Modern cars are now very difficult to steal without the keys. Car keys are being stolen by gaining access to homes through insecure windows and doors. They are then stealing the cars. Don't leave your house or car keys in or near doors and windows. Keep your car keys out of sight, if possible in a lockable cupboard or chest of drawers. And remember to secure all windows and doors so not to make access easy.  

 Sheds and outbuildings

  • Place all tools and garden equipment in locked sheds and garages.
  • Secure more expensive items, e.g. mowers, bikes to an anchor point within the shed or garage.
  • Mark all items with postcode and record serial numbers. e.g. UV pens or forensic marking kits. Register the details for free on www.immobilise.com.
  • Take photographs of items such as statues and garden furniture if they are unusual, for easy identification at a later date.
  • Fit a shed alarm.
  • Keep the structure in good repair.
  • Consider covering windows with curtains to obscure the view of the contents.
  • Consider external lighting.
  • Ensure the garden fences are in good repair between neighbours to prevent unlawful access.
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.

For more advice about shed security click here for our Be Shed Secure leaflet (.pdf, 422KB)

Protecting your property

Mark all items with postcode and record serial numbers. e.g. UV pens or forensic marking kits.

Take photographs of valuables such as jewellery.

Don't leave jewellery lying on dressers and in unlocked drawers. If you have valuable jewellery, consider storing it in a safe.

Register your valuables, in case of loss or theft, on www.immobilise.com. This is a free property register which is searchable by police forces across the country and so can help to reunite property owners with their property and combat the sale of stolen property.

 


What to do if you are burgled

If you come home and find a broken window or lights on and you think there might be a burglar inside, don't go into the house. Go to a neighbour's house and call 999. Don't put yourself in danger.

Neighbourhood Watch 

Hampshire Constabulary is committed to supporting the development of Neighbourhood Watch schemes throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and particularly in areas with identified crime problems. We will encourage the formation of associations, constituted to support and develop Neighbourhood Watch schemes, and will work in partnership with these voluntary associations to achieve objectives.

For more information visit the national website for Neighbourhood watch where you will be able to find information about joining your local watch or setting up a scheme.

www.ourwatch.org.uk

Blue Lamp Trust

The Blue Lamp Trust is supported by Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and operates the Bobby Scheme in Hampshire, Southampton & Portsmouth. The Bobby Scheme provides practical home safety & security help to the elderly and vulnerable people who have been, or who are at risk of becoming, victims of crime or anti-social behaviour in or near their home, through activities such as making repairs after a burglary, fitting security chains / window locks / spy holes and the installation of smoke alarms & providing fire prevention advice to guard against the risk of fire.  

The Bobby Scheme will;

  • offer reassurance by a uniform Fitter linked to Fire & Police
  • give advice and signposting provided where necessary
  • provide free of charge good quality safety & security fixings
  • provide high quality workmanship & fire / crime prevention advice
  • help reduce likelihood of becoming a repeat victim
  • help reduce demands on Police / Fire Services
  • help reduce demands on local authority services by promoting independent living
  • promotes an increased sense of safety / security / wellbeing

You can contact the Bobby Scheme by visting www.bluelamptrust.org.uk.
Or by calling them on 0300 777 0157 or emailing bobby@bluelamptrust.org.uk