Since the clocks went back on Sunday 27 October 2013, residents have been encouraged to switch on to some simple crime prevention tactics. As darkness now descends earlier in the day and with lots of people going out this weekend to Bonfire/Firework Parties and to Diwali celebrations, we want to help people ensure that they don’t advertise that their homes are open to thieves by leaving their home in darkness or leave their property unsecured.
Nationally police forces are also experiencing an emerging problem of jewellery thefts, due to the increase in the value of gold and precious metals. In particular, some Asian communities are being hit harder by the thefts as their jewellery is often made of pure gold and therefore has a higher value. Hampshire Police have helpfully produced some essential messages in a range of languages which are linked below:
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – English
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Hindi
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Bengali
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Punjabi
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Urdu
- Gold Burglary Leaflet – Nepalese
Lights on Timers
During Suffolk Constabulary’s ‘Lights on Timers’ week (21-25 October) Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Neighbourhood Watch members putting crime prevention advice postcards through the letterboxes of households they see in darkness. Chief Inspector Jenny Powell from Suffolk Constabulary’s Community Safety Department said:
“Leaving your house in total darkness is a sure sign no-one’s at home and an invitation to burglars. Burglars look for quick win opportunities; they don’t want to run the risk of a confrontation so simply leaving a light on to give the impression someone is at home is often enough to deter them.”
Timer switches can also be fitted to operate radios and lights if you’re not back from work until after dark or if you’re away for a few days. Leaving a light on costs literally pence in electricity – and that pales into insignificance compared to the hundreds of pounds in insurance excess you might have to pay should your home be broken in to. A high proportion of all break-ins are as a result of properties being left insecure so checking all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house is crucial. Other home security essentials are to use your burglar alarm if you have one – it’s amazing how many households don’t bother – and also to never leave a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot. Burglars will always look there first so it’s not much of a ‘hiding place’.”
Many burglaries are crimes of opportunity but there are a number of steps you can take to improve security and put off burglars.
- Ensure doors and windows are locked – even if you are popping out for a minute.
- Fit deadlocks to outside doors and key operated locks to windows.
- Don’t hide spare keys outside.
- Keep gates and sheds well secured and ensure garden tools and ladders are locked away.
- Homes in darkness can be a target for thieves – leave a light on or better still put your lights on a timer and leave a radio on if you go out during the hours of darkness.
- Do not keep large amounts of money in your home.
- Security mark your valuables with your postcode and register your property for free at www.immobilise.com and improve your chances of getting it back if it’s lost or stolen.
Anyone wishing to find out more about crime prevention advice and home security should contact their local Crime Prevention Officer at Suffolk Police on 101.
101 is now the number to call when you want to contact Suffolk Police when it’s less urgent, however always call 999 in an emergency.