Keeping your home safe from burglary

The county of Suffolk has always been a low crime area and a safe and beautiful place to live and work.  Suffolk Constabulary is committed to ensuring it stays that way.  Burglary is one of the most emotive crimes, we all like to think our house is the safest place on earth so it can be a very distressing for victims.

Unfortunately throughout the month of September the area of Babergh West along with Sudbury and Babergh East are suffering an increase in these types of crimes. 

It is very difficult to plan where the offender will target next, but the current properties being predominantly affected are isolated or secluded premises.  Entry is generally gained from the rear of the property using force and they are being committed in the main during day light hours.

If you see any persons or vehicle at a suspicious location or they just look out of place please record the location and time you see them, a description including the registration number of the vehicle and telephone the police on 999 if an offence is occurring there and then, otherwise please dial 101.  Genuine people do not mind being questioned by police as to their entitlement to be on the premises.

Crime Reduction Advice

Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary. Here are a few tips:

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’ve just popped out to the neighbours, or working in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn the key)
  • Consider upgrading locks if they do not reach current British Standards or Kite Marked approved, and fit window locks with keys to all downstairs windows and those upstairs that are easy to reach from flat roofs etc.
  • Remove all keys from view, including car keys, and keep them out of sight but nearby should you need them for and safety or fire risks (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox to)
  • Install an intruder alarm in the property, with a visual external box to deter offenders before they even try to set foot over the property. Look on www.nsi.org.uk or www.ssaib.org for Police approved alarm companies that operate in your local area
  • Install good outside lighting such as ‘dusk till dawn’ lights at the front door/s and on your garages and sheds if there is a chance that you or neighbours would see suspicious activity by having them. Otherwise they just aide an offender
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property if you are planning to go away, and ask them to pick up mail
  • Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows and store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe that’s bolted to the wall and floor
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition, and cut back hedging and shrubs so they would not ‘hide’ an offender on your property and helps improve natural surveillance of your property
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Mark your property with your postcode and house number in a UV pen and register your property for free with www.Immobilise.com  (UV pens can be purchased for £1 from Sudbury and Hadleigh Police Stations)
  • Alternatively a property marking solution such as www.smartwater.com could be utilised instead
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and call your local NHW Officer on 101 if you’d like more information.
  • The Master Locksmith (MLA) has a list of approved locksmiths for your area, just visit www.locksmiths.co.uk/ to find yours.

By Verity Howell - Crime Reduction Officer Babergh and Mid Suffolk Districts on September 24th, 2014

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