We all want our homes to be safe and by taking just a few simple steps you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary. Homes with no security measures in place are far more likely to be targeted, so these simple steps can help to reduce your risk of things going wrong:
- Close and lock your doors and windows when you go out, even if you are just in the garden
- Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
- Fit an intruder alarm in a visible place and test it frequently
- Install security lights
- Leave a radio or light on timer and draw the curtains when you go out at night to make your property look occupied
- Remember to cancel deliveries before you go on holiday
- Keep an eye on your neighbour’s property and encourage them to do the same for you. Report anything suspicious
- Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
- Mark your property with your postcode and house number and register your property for free, online with Immobilise.
- Store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a secure place or safe
- Buy home insurance. It’s cheaper than paying out to replace any stolen possessions. Remember: if you don’t lock your house, your insurance may not cover you
- Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and sign up to our local messaging scheme In the Know
- For a small cost you can register your keys with Keypoint, our keyholder information database. This scheme allows you to securely register the details of individuals who can be contacted by the emergency services in your absence should an incident occur at your premises.
CCTV – know your responsibilities
If you have a CCTV system installed at home, or you are considering installing one there are some things you need to consider so that you do not breach Data Protection Law.
Any cameras installed on or around domestic dwellings must be directed within the boundary of the property. If they look out onto public areas or other areas that fall outside the curtilage of the property then action must be taken to ensure that the CCTV complies with Data Protection. This includes;
- Putting up signage explaining that recording is taking place
- Ensure that images are not kept unless they are required to evidence an offence
- Ensuring that the information is not shared unnecessarily, this includes within your family or other people living at and visiting your house
Further information regarding your responsibilities is available from The Information Commissioner.
If you are happy that you have met the requirements, before you choose a system, make sure it will provide clear images that will be of use should an incident occur. It will need to be compatible with the lighting available in hours of darkness or have its own lighting source like infrared. Carefully consider where to place the cameras – if they are too high they will only show the tops of heads and too low they can be moved or covered up. You may need to cut back planting in your garden to open up views of what you wish to capture such as your driveway or back door.
Your garden, shed, garage or outbuilding
- Make sure all outbuildings are in good condition and if they aren't, don't leave valuable items inside
- Use good quality padlocks with covers so they cannot be easily cut off
- Take photographs of your valuables and register online at Immobilise
- Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
- Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
- Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges