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CCTV Cameras, Alarms, Locks, Safes and Crime Prevention Advice

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Crime Prevention Advice

Most burglars are opportunists - they look for an open window, an unlocked gate, a ladder - in fact, an easy way of getting into your home. If you take crime prevention seriously and put into practice the measures below, you may be saved the stress and heartache of having your home ransacked.

  • Make sure that all external doors are fitted with 5 lever mortice deadlocks. They should be approved to BS3621. 5 lever mortice deadlocks can only be opened with the correct key - even from the inside.
  • All windows should be fitted with locks that are operated with keys - and locked.
  • Keep all house and car keys hidden when you are not in - maybe even locking them in a safe. Burglars always like to find your keys so they can exit your house easily - and if they can take your car with them they can take even more of your things in it.
  • Make access to the back of your property difficult by having gates that lock and high fences that can't be scaled. You can buy plastic spikes that attach to the top of gates and fences that make them very difficult (and painful) to climb over.
  • Motion sensitive security lighting is a good idea - burglars like to remain hidden.
  • CCTV cameras are a relatively cheap option these days - they can be connected to a video recorder to record a thief trying to break into your home - then running off when he sees the camera!
  • Install a good quality burglar alarm with a built in battery that will continue to run even if the wires are cut.
  • Put the lights on a timer switch if you are going to be away for an extended period. If you are just going out for an evening - leave some lights on around the house.
  • Make sure all valuables, including cash, jewellery and keys, are hidden, or preferably, locked away in a safe.
  • Never leave passwords for computers, online banking accounts, pin numbers and other bank details lying around. Don't store online banking or paypal passwords on your computer.
  • Consider joining or starting a Neighbourhood Watch scheme (see below).

How to set up a "Neighbourhood Watch" Scheme

What is a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme?

Neighbourhood Watch is a safety organisation designed to get households in a neighbourhood to liaise with the local police about ways to decrease crime in the neighbourhood and build trust with other residents in the area. The households are advised on crime prevention methods and reporting any suspicious activity to the police - essentially everyone in the neighbourhood looks out for one another.

How do I set up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme?

If you would like to set up a neighbourhood watch scheme, your first port of call should be your local police station where you will need to speak to the Crime Prevention Officer, who will let you know what your job will involve. You will become the resident coordinator and receive information from the police, together with practical help in the form of security items, such as UV marker pens, advice on crime prevention and information leaflets. (With UV marker pens, you write your postcode and house number on your possessions - this only shows up under a UV light, which police use routinely when examining stolen goods.)

Your duties will probably include:

  • Distributing pamplets and newsletters to the other households in the scheme, including leaflets on crime prevention, "Neighbourhood Watch" door stickers and cards for the reporting of incidents.
  • Encouraging vigilance between households and the reporting of anything suspicious.
  • Encouraging crime prevention, including secure door and window locks, home alarms and the UV marking of property.
  • Inviting new households in the area to join the scheme.
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- This contains a set of 4 cd's to be played when the house in unoccupied. They contain a range of every day sounds tom make a crook think that you're at home including sounds of vaccuum cleaning, washing machines, cutlery and crockery noises and more.
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