Protect Your Home
Opportunity plays a big role in enabling people to commit crime, and never more so than burglaries. Most domestic burglaries are committed by "opportunists". Criminals will look for homes that:
- Seem unoccupied
- Have little or no obvious security
- Have doors or windows left open, or
- Where they think they won't be seen.
One crime often produces the opportunity to commit another - for example, a successful break-in may encourage the burglar to return again in the near future, because they know when the householders are out and expect the property to be full of shiny new replacement goods.
Impact of Neighbourhood Watch
This website will provide you lots of tips about tools you can use to protect your property, it is also worth noting that being part of a Neighbourhood Watch network is also an effective crime prevention tool, particularly against burglary. This is because a tight Neighbourhood Watch community:
- Increases surveillance over a local area
- Can alter offender's perception of risk, if neighbours are waving and saying hello to each other, and also to strangers. This lets potential intruders know they have been seen and observed potentially reducing the opportunity for crime to occur.
- Can alter the behaviour of residents, by encouraging them to consciously consider their own home security measures
- Is vigilant and observant to the comings and goings in their community, and familiar with their local environment
- Encourages other forms of social interaction and neighbourhood cohesion among communities
- Shares information with each other and Police
There are some simple steps you can take to increase your security that don't cost a lot, and are simple about common sense.
- Always close and lock all doors and windows, while at home as well as when out and about.
- Keep house and car keys out of sight and reach. Never leave spare keys in obvious places, like under the mat or pot plant.
- Ensure that any items a burglar might be interested in can't be seen through your windows. Don't leave phones, tablets or laptops in view, and unplug chargers and cables while you're not using them. Leaving these plugged in and trailing from sockets is an indication to a burglar you own high-value devices.
- Beware of bogus callers. Never open your door unless you are sure of the person on the other side. Always ask for ID, which can be shown through a window for verification, or make a call to a trusted neighbour to assist.
- If you go away on holiday, don't plaster your holiday snaps all over your social media until you return. Broadcasting to the world that your home is unoccupied is a clear invitation to a burglar.