This is the last in a burst of three articles on crime and policing. What follows is a communique from Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Police Team on protecting your home and property,
If you are in any way unsure about security, contact Surrey Police on 101 and ask to speak to your local Crime Reduction Advisor.
We want Surrey Heath to be a no go area for potential burglars. The following advice can also be found on the Surrey Police website through this link: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-your-home-and-belongings/burglary/.
OUR TOP TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR HOME SAFE AND SECURE:
• Register valuable property on https://www.immobilise.com/ – it’s free of charge and can deter a thief. It improves your chances of getting your belongings back if they are lost or stolen.
• Fit window locks and ensure French windows and patio doors are secure
• Install a burglar alarm and set it every time you leave your home. A visible burglar alarm will make a potential intruder think twice
• Install low wattage security lighting that comes on automatically at dusk and goes off at dawn
• Never leave door or car keys or other valuables within reach of a letter box or window
• Do not leave spare keys in an obvious place, such as under a flower pot or a door mat
• Keep your front and back doors shut and locked – even when you are at home
• Don’t keep large amounts of money or jewellery at home. If you have to, use a home safe that is stored out of sight
• Make sure your house looks occupied even when it isn’t. Use an automatic timer switch to turn interior lights on and off
• Secure your garage and shed – equipment kept inside can be just as tempting for a thief
• Mark your property with an ultraviolet pen.
REDUCING GARAGE, SHED AND GARDEN CRIME
• Use good quality fixings and a padlock to secure doors
• Use anti-tamper screws in door hinges
• If possible, lock any windows
• Fit a mains or battery powered alarm
• Use a forensic coding product to ‘property mark’ all valuable tools and equipment with your postcode/house number
• If possible, secure lawnmowers and other valuable equipment to a shed or garage wall
• Lock tools away when you are not using them
WHEN GOING AWAY
As well as the above:
• Don’t discuss holiday plans in front of strangers
• Don’t post details on social media
• Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries
• Mow the lawn and tidy the garden
• Ask someone you trust to collect your mail
• Give a trusted neighbour contact details in case of emergency
• Ask your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme to keep an eye on your property
• When travelling, don’t display your home address on your luggage tags
If you are thinking about installing CCTV to look after your property, there are some things to consider. The Information Commissioner’s Office website offers some useful information on the use of CCTV by members of the public.
FURTHER USEFUL ADVICE ON PROTECTING YOUR PROPERTY
• Find a Locksmith: www.locksmiths.co.uk
• Visit the Home Office website: www.homeoffice.gov.uk
• Secured by Design: www.securedbydesign.com
• Neighbourhood Watch: www.ourwatch.org.uk
Below are some tips on how to protect your personal vehicle, commercial vehicle and motor bicycle. Following this advice will help to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of vehicle crime and protect your vehicle from theft or damage. The advice can also be found on the Surrey Police website at https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-your-home-and-belongings/vehicle-crime/
PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL VEHICLE
• Always lock your vehicle and close the windows and sunroof
• Remove all personal possessions – not just satnavs, laptops and mobile phones – but also loose change and clothing
• Look after your car keys and keep them out of sight and secure, even when you are at home
• Secure number plates with tamper proof or clutch head screws.
AND SOME EXTRA PRECAUTIONS
- If possible, park your car in a garage and lock both the car and the garage
- When away from home, try to park in a well-lit, open location, or a police approved ParkMark car park
- Fit an alarm if your car doesn’t have one, or use a steering lock
- Fit a tracking device to your vehicle (and ensure you know how to activate it)
- Etch the vehicles registration number or vehicle identification number (VIN) on each window.
• Always lock your bike and set the alarm if it has one
• When leaving your bike, lock it to something secure
• Mark your bike with its vehicle identification number
• Don’t leave items such as helmets with your bike
• Use a motorbike cover.
KEEPING YOUR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFE
• Always lock your vehicle. Lock the back doors while driving
• Fit an alarm. Insurance companies will often give a discount for properly installed and approved alarms
• Never leave personal documents in the vehicle’s cab
• Never leave tools or equipment in your vehicle overnight
• Keep your van keys safe while you are working. Never leave them in your vehicle
• ‘High clearance’ vehicles are common targets for catalytic converter theft. Mark yours to deter thieves
• Security mark all your tools and equipment to make items uniquely identifiable
• Fit lockable wheel nuts, tamper proof number plate screws and a lockable fuel cover cap
• Don’t buy cheap, second hand tools from a building site – they may be stolen. If you are suspicious – tell the police
• Keep fuel and food stops to a minimum (reduces the amount of time your vehicle is unattended)
• Make sure you have fully comprehensive insurance for your vehicle. Thieves will often ‘smash and grab’ causing damage that is expensive to repair and may take you off the road for several days.
Advice on how to protect your bicycle from theft can be found below and on the Surrey Police website: https://www.surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-your-home-and-belongings/bicycle-theft/
KEEPING YOUR BICYCLE SAFE
• Store your bike in a locked shed or garage
• Take photos of your bike including one of the serial number then register it on immobilise.com
• Mark or tag your bike
• If you need to leave your bike outside use a good lock made from hardened steel
• D-locks are recommended, remove the saddle or front wheel and detach any lights or equipment.
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR SURREY HEATH NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM
If you have any information on crimes in your area to give to the police or wish to discuss issues that relate to crime in your area, the Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Team can be contacted as follows:
• Police Station Surrey Heath Borough Council, Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road, Surrey Heath, Surrey GU15 3HD
• Phone 101
• Twitter https://twitter.com/SurreyHeathBeat
• Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SurreyHeathPolice
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org