Tag Archives: Gardens

Christmas is a busy time…for thieves – 10 Crime prevention tips

Christmas brings the busiest shopping weeks of the year and for many retailers often accounts for 70% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, jewellery and must-have accessories is commonplace, unfortunately though it provides thieves with an increased incentive to commit burglaries.

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10 crime prevention tips you shouldn’t ignore…

TIP 1: Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. Also, highlighting the fact your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise using window decals provide a further warning that your goods are traceable and not worth the risk of stealing!

TIP 2: Festive lighting – be secure. A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.

TIP 3: Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Refuse collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to break apart boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!

TIP 4: Be careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media! According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This can let burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as if privacy settings aren’t tied down, it can allow burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.

TIP 5: Check doors and windows for weak spots. Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.

TIP 6: Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night, making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy, you should also consider leaving a radio on or go further and invest in a Fake TV device to emulate the light given of by at television.

TIP 7: Away over Christmas – plan ahead! If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Don’t leave overly descriptive telephone answering machine messages and again make use of light timers, radios and devices like Fake TV’s.

TIP 8: Secure garages and sheds. Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is recorded on immobilise.

TIP 9: Don’t hide keys and use alarms if you have them. Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home when you are away and overnight where possible.

TIP 10: And lastly, don’t forget to register your gifts on Immobilise (www.immobilise.com)! Most gadgets have a unique identification code such as a serial number or for mobile phones an IMEI number – This IMEI number can be found quickly and easily by pressing the following keys on your mobile handset: *#06#. If your gift doesn’t have a unique identifier there are several affordable marking kits available from the Immobilise store allowing the police to easily identify the owners of items they recover and so detect crime.

We hope that you find these tips useful and encourage you to share them with your family, friends and colleagues. As always please remain vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

South Liverpool residents deter burglars with Immobilise

Residents in south Liverpool are taking advantage of the Immobilise National Property Register to help them to protect their belongings, and deter burglars at the same time.

South Liverpool Homes (SLH) has joined up with Merseyside Police to offer the free scheme to all SLH tenants.  At the housing association’s monthly walkabout on Wednesday 6th May, staff chatted to tenants to make them aware of the scheme which aims to encourage people to register all their belongings on a national database.

The landlord is making it as easy as possible for tenants to take part in the scheme by registering their belongings for them if they are unable to access the internet.  This can include anything of value from mobile phone, tablets and game consoles to TV’s, bikes and watches.

SLH tenant Mrs Mooney is the first SLH tenant to take advantage of the scheme:

I thought this was a great idea so I jumped at the chance to register.  It took about 15 minutes to do and now I have peace of mind that if any of my belongings do get stolen, there’s a good chance I’ll get them back.

Sharon Marsh, SLH’s Community Safety Manager said:

We are able to offer this service by working in partnership with Merseyside Police who will assist us with registering as many tenants as we can.  Tenants can also register their belongings themselves by logging onto the Immobilise database where they will be given a secure login.  Once registered, we ask tenants to tell us so that we can give people stickers to put in their windows which we hope will deter potential burglars.

SLH and Merseyside Police launched the scheme following consultation with residents in Speke. Once 25% of residents on a street sign-up, they will be issued with free street signs that advertise that the area takes part in the Immobilise
scheme.

To read the source story please go to:
www.24dash.com/news/housing/2015-05-12-New-scheme-launched-in-South-Liverpool-to-deter-burglars

Oxford police in plea to register bicycles

The BBC has reported that Police in Oxford are urging residents to register their bikes so they can be traced if they are stolen.

According to the BBC between June and August, 837 bikes were taken in the city – a rise of 141 compared to the same period in 2010.

Sgt Matt Sulley from Oxford police station said bike theft was a huge problem and returning cycles to their owners was the biggest issue.

He said if cycles are registered at immobilise.com police can easily identify the original owners.

In Oxford, Thames Valley Police are currently holding hundreds of bikes.

Sgt Sulley said the large number of cycles in Oxford made thefts a particular problem.

He said that also the large portion of old-style houses in the city meant it was difficult for people to access gardens and sheds to properly secure their bikes.

He added:

There are also criminals making a business out of it. Lots of bikes are being stolen and then stripped for parts which makes them very difficult to trace.

We have also seen a number of very expensive bikes, worth thousands of pounds, locked up with cheap locks.

Between 5 and 25 September 2011 neighbourhood policing teams will be at key locations in Oxford advising people about ways to protect their property.

To read the source BBC story please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-14760978

To visit Thames Valley Police go to: http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/

Police advise public to register bikes and belongings on Immobilise

Police in Doncaster are advising the public  to keep their property and belongings secure following a recent spate of bicycle thefts across the borough.

During the last few weeks, there has been an increase in the theft of bikes when they have been left unattended outside shops or left insecure in gardens.

Opportunistic thieves will not think twice about taking property that is unattended or insecure, and police are urging the public to be vigilant and secure their property at all times.

Sergeant Jez Fitzgibbons said:

We have had a number of thefts reported over the last week, where people have left their bikes insecure in their gardens thinking they will be safe, or outside shops unattended. Even though they are only away from the bike for a matter of minutes, it only takes seconds for someone to steal it and we want to ensure this doesn’t happen, but we need the publics help.

To deter thieves, always ensure bikes are locked or chained up when left unattended, even when left in your garden.

To also deter thieves from stealing bikes, have the crossbar stamped with your postcode as it makes it more difficult for the bike to be sold on and less likely to be stolen.

Bikes can also be registered for free on the national property database Immobilise, www.immobilise.com, by entering the bike frame number. Should the bike be stolen, it can be identified and traced back to the original owner if found.

To read the source article please go to: http://southyorks.police.uk/news/06062011/5354/bicycle-thefts-doncaster

Cumbria Police increase festive burglary patrols

The News & Star in Cumbria has reported that Police patrols are being stepped up in a bid to stop thieves cashing in on Christmas and spoiling families’ festive season.

Cumbria’s force chiefs also revealed that they had recovered £1,700 of stolen property as part of investigations into a spate of burglaries in north Allerdale.

They have also issued a warning to householders, saying: “Don’t let thieves spoil your Christmas” and urged them to keep possessions “safe, hidden and locked”.

Police teams across the county are distributing a festive flyer, with tips on how to keep valuables, cars and houses safe at a time when burglaries traditionally increase.

PC Simon Evans, of north Cumbria’s community safety squad, said:

By following these messages, you can hopefully have a crime-free Christmas.

Crime-cutting efforts in the area will include the promotion of a website – www.immobilise.com – that allows people to register property for free, recording unique information that can be used by police to trace owners of stolen property.

Inspector Dennis Kelly, who heads west Cumbria’s burglary action team, said:

We are raising awareness of the importance of securing homes effectively and asking for the community’s help to provide us with information if they see anything or anyone acting suspiciously.

If you see something, please call us. Your small piece of information could help us to build up an intelligence picture and could mean that we can intervene and stop a crime from happening.

To read the source article in full please go to: http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/

Bristol Police launch campaign to tackle expected spring burglaries

NewsImageNS19276NSU-1LARGEPolice in Bristol expect 1,000 homes to be burgled in the city in the next three months.

Bristol’s priority crime team want to reduce that number and prevent your home being one of those thousand, and to help they are launching a Spring burglary campaign.

Richard Kelvey, Detective Chief Inspector on the burglary team, said:

We know from previous statistics that there are likely to be 1,000 homes burgled in Bristol in the next three months.

We want to do everything we can to reduce that number and we are working hard but we need the public to be aware of how to make themselves and their homes less vulnerable to burglary.

Surprisingly, around 300 of all those burglaries expected to take place, will happen because someone forgets to lock a back door or leaves a window open. We know it is easily done when you are rushing to get out of the door for work or to get the kids to school – making the property insecure and giving thieves easy access.

Another method for burglars is smashing a small window or glass panel in a front or back door in order to put a hand through and unlock it – which is why keys should never be left in back doors or on nearby surfaces.

People are also advised to keep hard copy photos, receipts and descriptive records of their property as well registering it on national property database Immobilise so that it can be identified in the event it is stolen.

Councillor Gary Hopkins, Bristol City Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Community Safety, said:

Although burglary rates are going down steadily we want to ensure everyone knows the simple precautions to take to reduce their chance of being burgled.

Avon & Somerset Police have some good tips to keep your home safe:

  • Lock it or lose it – always make sure you secure windows and doors before leaving your home, using ALL locks, including deadlocks and bolts on windows and doors.
  • If you have an alarm system ALWAYS set it before going out even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • Don’t advertise your home to thieves – never leave valuable items on display in windows.
  • Never leave packaging for expensive items out in the recycling box all week: either put it out on the morning it’s due to be collected or take it to the tip.
  • If you have a side or back lane on your house make sure it is gated and well lit, so as to not give easy access to your property.
  • Use a switch timer and leave a radio when you go out.

To read the source article in full please go to: Avon and Somerset Police

Police give seasonal safety advice during community safety day

Police give seasonal safety adviceThe Wincanton neighbourhood policing team has been out delivering festive message to its residents

More than 450 homes were visited by the team who spoke to residents about what steps to take to take for a crime-free Christmas. People at home were reminded not to tempt thieves by keeping presents out of sight, making sure their house is secure and that empty houses looked occupied by leaving a television or radio on and using timer switches on lights.

The day of activity, on Wednesday 9 December, was undertaken in partnership with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service who spoke to residents about fire prevention this winter. Residents were asked to ensure smoke alarms were fitted and working, reminded not to overload power sockets and advised to check their Christmas tree lights before putting them up.

Where there was no answer at houses an advice leaflet was posted through its door.

The event was organised by Police Constable Sara Stephenson, the beat manager for Bruton. Speaking afterwards, Sara said:

Christmas is a special time for people to relax and enjoy spending time with family and friends. Becoming a victim of crime at Christmas can spoil the festive period so we have been out reminding people how to avoid being targeted this year. The message was well received by the residents we spoke to and I am confident most will act on the advice we gave.

Top tips for staying safe:

  • Lock up and set the alarm in the evening as well as when you go out
  • Seem in when you’re out by setting a timer switch to turn the lights on at dusk
  • Post code your valuables and register them for free at www.immobilise.com – it could help convict a burglar and return your property
  • Keep your keys and handbag or wallet hidden safely out of sight
  • Don’t advertise your property to thieves: hide Christmas presents and don’t put boxes out for rubbish collection, bag them first
  • Join or set up Neighbourhood Watch
  • Call police immediately if you see anything you think is suspicious
  • Make sure ladders and tools are secured otherwise a thief could use them to break into your home.

To view the source article please go to: Avon and Somerset Police Website

Police advise that defensive planting can deter thieves

Police in Avon and Somerset are helping residents combat crime by encouraging them to take up gardening! Gardens are often the first line of defence against crime as two-thirds of burglars gain entry to homes via the back of the property. There advice although aimed at local residents, is just as relevant wherever you live whether that be in town or county.

The summer months also see an increase in thefts from gardens and sheds as people bring out their garden furniture and equipment as the weather improves.

The value of property stored in gardens, sheds and garages is often much more than people realise and can soon add up. Power tools, plants, containers, hand tools, sports equipment, cycles and toys are among those items most frequently taken by garden thieves.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary suggest that using defensive planting and prickly bushes to enhance the security of boundaries, around drainpipes or beneath ground floor windows, making forced entry more difficult and less attractive to would be burglars, is a simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly crime prevention favourite.

Marking power tools with postcodes and house numbers is also effective. These details can then be placed on www.immobilise.com which can be used by members of the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets. Alternatively, permanently mark them by scratching or painting this will also reduce their value to the thief.

Crime Reduction Officer Tony Alderman from Taunton said:

People can take very simple but effective crime reduction measures, which can have a dramatic effect on their property’s overall security.

Clever planting, padlocks on gates and sheds and motion sensor lights are inexpensive and effective. Garden tools are often used to assist the burglar breaking into a property – ladders, are particularly helpful to thieves for example, so keep them locked away.

To read the source article in full go to: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Police advise people to secure garden sheds

The Leigh Journal has reported that POLICE are urging people to lock up sheds and garages to stop burglars using gardening equipment to break into homes.

They should also fit alarms and security lights.

The warning comes from PS Glynn Worley who said:

Thieves can easily use tools lying around to break into someone’s home.

The average shed or garage contains hundreds of pounds worth of equipment, and if they are insecure then offenders don’t even need to break into homes to steal valuables.

Police recommend that residents install shed alarms and security lights and security mark power tools, bikes and other valuable items with ultraviolet marker pens.

Items should be chained together using a high-security chain or cable and a good quality padlock, and the chain should be securely fastened to the wall or floor.

For even greater peace of mind, residents are urged to register valuable items on www.immobilise.com, free of charge.

To read the source article in full please go to: Leigh Journal