During the lockdowns of the Covid-19 pandemic, you may have seen more of your neighbours (from a safe distance of course!) than you did your own family. Clapping from your doorsteps and soaking in the view of another real-life human.
As time charges on and ‘normal’ daily life resumes, it’s important not to lose those neighbourly connections. Having a strong, close community gives us a sense of belonging. Everyone can also benefit from the added security that comes from living in a close community.
Letting your trusted neighbour(s) know when you’re away.
Leave a spare key with them so that they can check on the property and take in any post or deliveries. They may also be able to park their car on your drive while you’re away.
Set up a community Facebook page or WhatsApp group.
They’re great for sharing information about suspicious or anti-social behaviour, with the added benefit of getting to know your neighbours better.
Suspicious behaviour to watch out for might include:
- Strange vehicles parked up for a lengthy period, returning regularly or travelling slowly up and down your road
- Strangers lingering in the neighbourhood
- Unknown markings on or near properties; they could be coded markings that burglars use to communicate with each other.
Window stickers and signage warning that your property is protected by CCTV, an alarm system, or even a dog, can help to deter thieves. You could also put up stickers or signs to show that you have marked and registered your belongings, making them more difficult to sell on and therefore less attractive to thieves.
You can mark your valuables by adding your postcode, phone number or any other number that’s meaningful to you. Various marking and labelling methods are available, but any mark will help. Keep a record of your belongings, making a note of any serial numbers or unique marks. Take photographs and consider sending them to a friend or relative so there is another copy, or record your items securely on the Immobilise National Property Register. Such registration not only helps Police return your property but may also prevent criminals from easily selling it.
You could club together with your neighbours to buy signage or share a property marking kit to help protect your belongings. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours who aren’t able to register their own items, you could help them to do it.
Join the local Neighbourhood Watch.
You can search the Neighbourhood Watch website to locate your nearest group, or start your own. Becoming a member gives you access to a whole host of crime prevention tips, ready-made campaigns and toolkits.
Do your bit.
The most important thing you can do is look out for one another. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, those chats over the hedge, or offers of help – however small – become even more important. Discuss security measures with your neighbours and if someone isn’t able to organise signage or fit a security light, offer to do it for them.