Crime Prevention Advice July 2015

Jul 20, 2015

A Bit of Summer Crime Prevention Advice
Hopefully the warm weather we have had already will not be the last and it will be a great summer. Please consider the points below so you don’t become a victim of crime.
If you have unoccupied rooms that are accessible to others from outside or off flat roofs make sure the windows are closed, if you need ventilation in these rooms at least lock the larger window and only have the small window open, even during the daytime. If you only have bigger windows consider a lockable window restrictor or a small alarm sensor on the window to detect entry.
Leave a door or patio door open and in comes trouble, even during the day. If that door is accessible the sneak thief will pop in and anything lying around will be gone. You may have only popped down the end of the garden or having a quick shower upstairs, it only takes a second for a thief to steal.
Before you turn in for the night do the “rounds” and check all is secure, some may think it is a bit over the top but you will feel more confident and less likely to become a victim.

Check the simple things:-

1. Parked cars – 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)? A lot of thefts are from insecure cars and vans. 
2. Side gate shut and locked, sheds and garages secure?
3. Don’t leave unattended pedal cycles insecure and out the front.
4. 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.
5. Don’t forget to check that patio door, someone may have closed it but did they lock it?
6. Windows - lift the blinds or open the curtains and check they are closed, the sun may have been on the TV and it was hot, so they were drawn with the window open. Remember the advice above re open windows. Make sure in case of fire that keys to windows and doors are readily accessible to occupants but not in view of possible burglars.
7. If you have an intruder 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.
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.
10. Social Media – When using “Facebook” or other be wary of announcing to the world that you are away and your house is empty. Make sure your profile does not contain private information that would identify you or your address to a stranger.

Last bit of advice - Going on holiday?
Stop the milk and newspaper deliveries and look after each other, get a neighbour 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
Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor


Heating Oil Theft

As it comes to the time when you are thinking about topping up your heating oil tank, with the value of fuel it is worth considering its security.
In the more isolated parts of the countryside it is primarily domestic properties that have been targeted by the heating oil thieves, but we have also seen such thefts at farms and other businesses.
There are a number of security devices available that will protect your fuel supplies - details of which can be found via your fuel supplier or local plumber’s merchant. One such system is “GPRS Fuel-Oil Alarm” from www.compoundsecurity.co.uk and info@commandersecurities.co.uk which have “Secured by Design” accreditation; this detects a dramatic drop in fuel and calls you on the telephone. There are also other systems that will add on to an existing intruder alarm system, whilst others protect the filler cap and there are of course the conventional locks.
Another consideration would be defensive planting around the tank, concealing it and restricting access to it by gates or fencing, and where possible locating the tank under lighting in view of lived in rooms within the house.
“For larger quantities of fuel http://dieseldye.com/ supply a dye that will uniquely mark the fuel should it be later recovered. Use of the dye, combined with signs making it clear that the fuel has been marked, can act as a strong deterrent to thieves.
If you like any advice regarding security please do not hesitate to contact your local Crime Reduction Advisor by using the 101 non-emergency telephone number
“Naturally we also ask locals to report any unusual activity seen around fuel tanks to police in an emergency on 999 or after the event on 101 or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Garage, Shed and Barn Security

Garages, sheds and barns by the nature of their construction and position especially when away from the house are always going to vulnerable. With a number of these offences the buildings have been either insecure or had inadequate locks and security.
On garage doors security can be improved by adding locking bolts to both sides of the “up and over door” or a garage door defender in the ground in front of the door. With sheds and some barns depending on the construction coach bolt and plate the padlock hasp to the frame and door, and use a good quality “Close Shackle” padlocks, don’t forget the hinges ensure they cannot be unscrewed. Some items within buildings can be secured using good quality chains attached to a ground anchor or such product.
Security products that are fit for purpose can found by looking for the "Secured by Design" or "Sold Secure" logos, or on their websites http://www.securedbydesign.com/ or http://www.soldsecure.com/ .
It is also worth fitting a shed alarm to the shed or garage, good signage regarding security systems in operation and adding security lighting. Shed alarms are relatively inexpensive and available from most DIY/hardware stores. For further advice contact your local Police Crime Reduction Advisor using the police non emergency number of 101.