Burglary Prevention Advice
Burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way. A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one that is properly secured.
If you take the precautions outlined below, a thief will quickly see what he is up against and probably look for an easier target. Be aware of the need to protect your home and yourself at all times
- Install good quality locks
- Consider installing an intruder alarm system.
- Display your house number clearly to enable emergency vehicles to find your house easily.
- Never leave notes which a thief could read (to family, friends, etc).
- Don't leave keys in "hiding places" around the house for a thief to find. Leave spare keys with a trusted friend.
- Keep valuable documents in a bank, with a lawyer, etc.
- Don't leave your house keys with your car keys when having your vehicle serviced or when using a parking station.
- Never keep large sums of cash or easily stolen valuables, such as jewelry, unprotected in your home. Keep valuables you don't often use in a bank safe deposit box.
Lock all the doors and windows whenever you leave the house, even if it is just to go into the backyard or to the nearby shop.
Don't invite the burglar into your home. Remove temptation. Make it look as though your house is occupied.
Before You Go On A Vacation
Not all burglars break into homes - some will try to trick or con their way in. They are known as bogus callers and will pretend to be on official business from respectable concerns such as the Utility Companies - Gas, Electricity and so on. They may claim to be tradesmen or workmen calling to carry out urgent repairs.
Bogus callers succeed because they sound believable, so don't be fooled. Make sure in your own mind that they are who they claim to be by following these simple steps:
- Think before you open the door - use the door keyhole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them
- Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry some sort of identification. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone the company the caller claims to represent.
- Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere which may encourage you to leave your house - they may have an accomplice awaiting this distraction.
- If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don't let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return or ask the caller to contact this person.
- What if someone asks to use your phone? Say no, and send them to the nearest phone booth. Or offer to make the call for them, locking them outside your home.
- When you admit a repairman or salesman, do not leave him alone for even a few minutes.
If you get a 'wrong number' phone call, don't chat. Just say 'wrong number' and hang up quickly. Never give your name and address.
Treat every stranger with caution. If you are still worried, dial 100 for the police.