Keep your home safe this winter
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Darker nights and worse weather makes good cover for burglars to make their move and even though we're all staying at home, we still need to make sure we do all we can to prevent them from entering our homes and stealing property.
We’re aiming to keep the burglaries across Essex low and to keep our communities vigilant and security conscious. Officers from our Community Policing Teams are responding and remaining active in areas where burglary is the most reported.
Please remember that you can always come and talk to us if you have any concerns. You may also receive a leaflet through your door from us with some useful tips for making your home less appealing to burglars.
We’d suggest investing in CCTV or alarms, timers for lights, or leave the radio or TV on when you leave the house.
A full list of suggestions can be found below:
You’d think that it would be best to make a property less visible from the street, and to keep it hidden from prying eyes behind overgrown bushes, trees, high fences or walls. In reality, all that this serves to do is make it easier for a burglar to get close to a home unnoticed and provide somewhere to hide while carrying out a burglary or theft from the property.
- Lower fences at the front around one-metre high are preferable to high fences as they allow for a clear view over the top and don’t provide cover for anyone wishing to hide.
- At the rear and sides, taller fencing is recommended to prevent easy access.
- Trellis, thorny plants, or a suitable anti-climb topping such as plastic spikes make it difficult for anyone climbing over a fence or gate.
- Planting prickly or barbed shrubbery along boundaries and fence lines acts as an effective natural barrier.
- Gravel driveways and paths will make sure you hear anyone approach
By using well-defined boundaries as a basis, CCTV can be a valuable tool. However, it doesn’t prevent a crime from being committed and does have limitations.
CCTV linked to a smartphone will alert you to someone crossing your boundary.
Most importantly, CCTV is no substitute for good quality physical security such as secure doors and windows.
Some cameras work by day and by night, and record when they detect movement. Some can be remotely viewed from a smartphone.
Position cameras where they are best able to obtain good quality facial images. Could you recognise or identify someone from the footage?
There is legislation for home CCTV use, so always seek advice from an accredited installer first to ensure your system complies with the law.
Place signage up warning that CCTV is in use.
For advice and approved suppliers of CCTV visit the National Security Inspectorate and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board
Consider an accredited burglar alarm system with audible alarm boxes mounted high at the front and rear of your home. Two visible audible alarm boxes are better than one. Mount them at the front and rear of your home, high up to resist tampering.
There are three types of burglar alarm, varying in capability and cost:
- Monitored – Once triggered, an alarm company or designated key holder can check to ensure it isn't a false alarm.
- Unmonitored – This type, once activated, will sound a loud alarm designed to scare off an intruder and alert neighbours but they are reliant on someone such as a neighbour checking the house.
- Auto Dialler – This system, once activated, alerts pre-programmed key holders with either a text or a phone call.
The police will typically respond to a burglar alarm if requested to do so by a monitoring company but are less likely to respond to an unmonitored alarm.
If you have an extension to your home remember to extend your burglar alarm coverage as well.
Signage is an effective deterrent if used with an active alarm system.
For advice and approved suppliers of alarms visit the National Security Inspectorate and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board.
Lighting is a good deterrent and is recommended at doors as it makes it safer for you when coming and going after dark.
A clear, low white light that activates at dusk to dawn is ideal for lighting a yard and garden and allowing any person to be clearly seen.
Check to make sure that trees and plants do not obscure your lighting. It’s recommended that you regularly cut vegetation back.
Take care to position these lights so that light pollution doesn’t annoy your neighbours.
Use an automatic plugin time switch to operate a lamp or light at pre-set times when you’re away.
Energy saving LED bulbs are best as they do not use as much electricity, last longer than conventional bulbs and do not generate heat, reducing fire risk.
In blocks of flats, automatic low energy lights that detect movement are recommended for corridors, stairwells and communal areas such as car parks.