We have seen a number of burglaries across the force area where the offenders have targeted homes while the residents are on holiday. There are a number of things you can do to make your home look occupied, which can also be used as the nights are starting to draw in.
As the nights are starting to draw-in, the most important thing to prevent burglary
is to make the home look as if it’s occupied. The use of lights on timer switches is
recommended, and if you can also put one on a radio tuned to a talk station that will
also make it sound like someone is in, and having a conversation. Fake TV lights are
now available, which gives the impression that someone is watching television, and
these can work really well if you have them in an upstairs bedroom.
Ensure that all doors and windows are closed and properly locked – use a key,
don’t just lift the door handle. Take the keys out of the door when it’s locked and put
them somewhere out of sight and reach, but make sure all the residents know where
they are kept in case of emergency.
Sheds, garages and outbuildings are popular targets for burglars, so increase the
security to these whenever possible. Check that the contents of these places are
included on our home and contents insurance.
Register your belongings on the Immobilise property register. If anything lost or
stolen is handed to the police you have a good chance of getting your property
Restrict access to the rear of your property wherever possible – lock any side
gates leading to the rear – as the back or patio doors are the most popular site of
forced entry. Think about growing some thorny bushes along the garden fencing.
Lock away ladders or any tools that could help a burglar, and secure any garden
furniture or wheelie bins that can be moved to help gain access to an extension or
first floor window.
If you’re taking the car with you, ask a neighbour to use your driveway while you
are away to make the home look occupied.
Cut the lawn and keep the garden tidy. Long grass suggests that the house is
empty or the occupant is unable to look after the garden.
Consider installing a burglar alarm – they are a real deterrent – but get an
approved or recommended model, as the cheap ones aren’t really that reliable and if
the alarm keeps going off your neighbours will soon lose interest and may ignore a
Don’t forget to cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries, and postpone ordering
anything that may arrive while you’re away