Online home security survey
We recommend that you complete a home security self assessment. Visit the Thames Valley Police website for lots of useful information on crime prevention.
The Thames Valley Police website has lots of useful advice and information on summertime burglary, alarms, CCTV, lighting, securtiy for sheds and garages, home security, window and door locks, and how to protect your home from crime.
Burglary - general advice
- Look out for your neighbours when they’re not home. If you see anything suspicious report it to the police and inform your neighbour.
- A visible burglar alarm, security lighting and CCTV are excellent deterrents for potential burglars
- Ensure your home is secure, lock windows and doors and double lock UPVC doors using the keys.
- Don’t leave your home looking unoccupied; use timer switches to set lights to come on as it gets dark.
- Keep small valuables, like jewellery and cash, in a safe which is bolted down. Don’t hide things in your bedroom, it is one of the first places a professional burglar will look.
- Ensure all valuables are property marked using forensic marking e.g. Selecta DNA or Smartwater, or a UV pen.
- Ensure that all garden tools are securely locked away in a shed or garage. Do not leave them around for an offender to use to break in.
Distraction burglary is defined by the Home Office as 'any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used on an occupant of a dwelling to gain entry or try to gain access to the premises to commit burglary'. The victim is often elderly and they may feel embarrassed, so offer them support and reassurance.
The following advice could help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of a distraction burglary.
- Always use the door chain when answering the door; if you are not sure do not open the door.
- Always check the credentials of unknown callers; a genuine visitor will not mind waiting while you check.
- If you use Careline or another pendant alarm system, you can use that to ask for assistance in verifying if someone is a genuine caller.
- There is no such thing as “the water board” anymore.
- Do not phone the number on the ID card that a caller give you; use a phone book or a bill to look up a known telephone number.
- Never employ cold-calling doorstep traders or engage with cold callers on the phone.
- Do not keep substantial sums of money in the home.
- Always keep front and back doors locked.
- Lock, Stop, Chain and Check - if unsure do not open the door.