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Tuesday 25 May 2010

Summer Crime Prevention Advice

Summer is a time of year that many people look forward to. The nights are longer, the weather is warmer and many of us can get out and about, spend time with our families and head off on our holidays. Unfortunately, this type of weather can also present criminals with different opportunities and more access to commit certain types of crime. Our simple security advice aims to help to prevent you from becoming a victim of summer crime.

Home Security
o Lock all doors and windows before you go out – even if only for a short period.
o Lock doors when you are in the house or garden and close accessible windows for any rooms that you are not in / have left. It can take just a few seconds for a sneak in burglary to be committed whilst your attention is engaged elsewhere in your property.
o If you have any UPVC doors, make sure you lift the handle AND use the key to lock it properly.
o Don’t leave ladders and tools outside (burglars could use them to help break in).
o Register your possessions on free online property database - it can help police return them to you if they are lost or stolen.

Garden Security
o Keep your shed securely locked by using a strong padlock as the bare minimum, and remember to lock your garden gate.
o Keep hedges and shrubs in your front garden below windowsill height to prevent a burglar having a 'screen' to work behind.
o Always put away any gardening equipment and tools when you've finished with them - a shovel could be just what a burglar needs to break in to you or a neighbour.
o Keep garden fences in good repair and consider having trellising on the top to discourage anyone climbing over.
o Use additional locks (and alarms where possible) for garages, shed doors and outside storage areas, especially if you use them to store valuable equipment such as golf clubs, bicycles and fishing equipment.
o Around 50% of pedal cycles are stolen from gardens and yards. Try not to just leave your bicycle in your garden put it out of view, lock it in a shed or secure it to a fixed object to add an extra layer of security.

o Make sure that you’ve locked all outside doors and windows, and if you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set.
o If you normally leave valuable pedal cycles or similar items in your shed, consider putting them in the house.
o Consider leaving important documents and valuable items with other family members or at a bank.
o Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark - don’t forget to put them in your bedroom.
o Avoid discussing holiday plans in front of strangers. Don’t record the dates of your holiday on wall calendars and leave in view of a window/door where it could be read by passers-by.
o Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries. If you are going away for a long period the Royal Mail also have a mail keep safe service.
o Ask a trusted person to come into your house while you are away to check on things, remove mail turn lights on, close curtains and help to give the impression the house is lived in.
o Even if you don’t choose a neighbour for the above task it is worthwhile to make your neighbours aware of when you are away and give them the contact details of a key holder. This way they will know to call the police if there is any suspicious activity or will be able to contact a key holder in case of an emergency such as an alarm going off or a gas leak.

Out & About
o Don't leave any valuables in your car - even if you know the bag on the front seat is empty, a thief may still try their luck, leaving you with a broken window to deal with.
o Remove your Sat Nav and its holder from the car - don't leave it in the glove box as that's the first place a thief will look - and make sure you wipe away any suction marks.
o It may sound obvious, but remember to shut your windows and sunroof when you leave your car.
o Put your aerial down to stop it being vandalised
o Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp
o Set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one fitted. If you do not have an immobiliser, consider having one fitted
o Never leave your bike unlocked - even if you're just popping into the newsagents.
o Always lock your bike to something solid like a lamp-post or railings, preferably in a public area.
o If you have quick release wheels, take off the front wheel and lock it to the frame and back wheel.
o If you have a pump or detachable lights, take them with you when you leave your bike.

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