Help keep your home, vehicle and property safe and secure08 July 2021
In Wyre Forest, we are lucky enough to live in a low crime area. As a Partnership, we are not complacent and know that when these types of crime happen it is extremely distressing for those who fall victim to them. Safer Wyre Forest is committed to keeping these offences to a minimum and to help you to feel safe in your own home.
Crime prevention doesn’t have to be complicated and costly. Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in helping to keep your home and possessions safe from burglary.
Here are some things that you can do to help keep yourself from becoming a victim of crime.
Protecting Your Home and Securing Your Garden
Homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures. In most burglaries, the house or flat was broken into through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in, so make sure your doors are strong and secure and remember to lock them. Good window locks and strong deadlocks can make a big difference. Glass panels on doors are particularly vulnerable; if you have one on your door you could replace it with laminated glass, which is stronger. You can also buy a film in a DIY store that you can stick over the glass to make it harder to break. Home security and DIY shops sell inexpensive, key-operated locks to fit most kinds of windows. Fit window locks with keys to all downstairs windows and those upstairs that are easy to reach. Here are some more tips:
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you're just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)
- Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox or cat flap (remember a device could be used to hook keys through)
- Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
- Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
- Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with www.immobilise.com which is a national database that police can access and compare against items that have been found or recovered from suspected criminals
- If available, join (or start) a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme to increase the chances of any suspicious activity being noted and immediately reported to the police http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/
- Install good, working outside lighting
- Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
- Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges that would-be burglars could hide behind
- Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
- Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
- Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immovable object inside a locked shed or garage
- More costly, but if you are able, consider installing a visual burglar alarm
Home Security When You Are Away
No one wants to come home from a well-earned break to find that their home has been broken into and their possessions stolen. A house which is obviously unoccupied can be a tempting target for would-be burglars, so try to make you home look like someone is living in it and give yourself peace of mind when you travel. Some top tips for holiday makers follow:
- Lock all doors and windows
- Remember to cancel milk and newspapers
- Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it gets dark
- Let a trusted neighbour or friend know you're going away and arrange for them to check on your house, collect mail, open/close curtains and even park on your drive – be prepared to return the favour!
- If you don’t have a friendly neighbour, you could consider using the Royal Mail's 'keepsafe' service - they keep your mail for up to 2 months while you're away. Mail sitting on your doorstep is a sign that you are away, it will also help prevent your mail falling into the wrong hands which could lead to identity fraud
- Don't forget your garden! Effective garden security will help keep your home secure. Secure your shed and consider moving bikes and other expensive items into the house
Avoid discussing holiday plans and avoid "broadcasting" travel arrangements, or that you are abroad, on public social networking sites such as Facebook. Burglars can use any information you post there to their advantage
Have a great time and don’t forget your passport and tickets!
The advice is simple - if you're not sure who is at your door, don't open it! Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from i.e. gas, electricity, water and police. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider - Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller - they may be bogus. The 'Water Board' no longer exists, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers.
As the weather improves, car drivers are keen to open sunroofs and windows and it’s easy to forget to close them when you leave the car. This is a great opportunity for the unscrupulous amongst us to take a look and see what they can help themselves to - and they will! Please always remember to lock your car, removing all valuables, including your expensive sat nav. and don’t forget to wipe the sucker marks from the window as well. If a potential thief sees the sucker marks, they will assume you have a sat nav and nine times out of ten, it will be in the glove box, boot or under the seat!
Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as ten seconds for a thief to steal something from your car. The best way to protect your belongings is to lock your car whenever you leave it. Other things you can do include:
Take away temptation by removing everything from the car; don't even leave a carrier bag where it can be seen
Close the sunroof along with the windows when you leave
Don’t store things in the boot; take them with you
Keep car ownership information in your home, not your car
Have a routine to ensure you always take the keys out of the ignition
Take removable stereos and sat nav equipment with you
In addition, consider using secure (theft resistant) number plates, which can make your plates less attractive to thieves
Where you park can make a big difference to the safety of your car and your belongings. Look out for car parks approved by the police Safer Parking scheme. You can find them by looking for their distinctive 'Park Mark' signs.
Please visit www.nwcsp.org for more help and crime prevention advice.