Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter (December 2014) : by Valerie Thorpe
DON’T MAKE IT A FESTIVE TIME FOR THIEVES
Christmas and New Year will soon be here and with homes filling with presents and supplies for the festive period there is often an increase in the frequency of burglaries. To help deter burglars in the festive season these are some useful tips to help prevent becoming a victim to an opportunist thief.
- Make sure gifts and valuables, wrapped and unwrapped, are out of view and not visible from any windows. This applies in the car as well as in the home.
- Ensure your property is fitted with locking windows and substantial locks on doors as this will deter criminals
- Photograph valuable property and log any serial numbers. Don’t store the information on a laptop, as that might be stolen too – keep it on a memory stick in a safe place.
- Mark any expensive gifts you receive for Christmas with a UV pen, smartwater or property marking service. This will make it harder for burglars to sell the items and allow police to return them to you. Call your local policing team on 101 for advice about property marking products. You can register your property with www.immobilise.com which is endorsed by a number of police forces, which helps police reunite recovered stolen items with their owners
- Keep doors and windows locked even if you are home – it only takes seconds for an opportunist burglar to get into your property. Lock all doors and windows, leave a light on and draw the curtains when you go out at night.
- Bolt and padlock garden gates and make sure you don’t leave ladders out, or other things that burglars could easily use to climb on. Remember to lock your garden shed and store your tools inside; it stops burglars using your tools to break into your house. Consider fitting extra padlocks to gates, sheds and garages. Don’t keep presents in the garage or shed.
- Don’t put gift packaging out for recycling or leave it sticking out of your bin – thieves will notice boxes for branded products like laptops, TVs or accessories that could indicate an expensive piece of kit somewhere in the house. The safest thing to do is to break down any cardboard boxes or fold them inside out so that you cannot see the branding.
- If you’re going away, ask a trusted neighbour to pop in to your home every now and then to turn the lights on and off, draw the curtains, collect the mail and make the house look occupied. Cancel newspapers, magazines and milk deliveries. It is also recommend that you don’t advertise the fact you are away from your home on Social Networking sites -thieves use Social Media too!
- Visible burglar alarms, exterior security lighting, timer lighting switches and leaving the radio on help to deter thieves and give the impression that somebody is at home.
If you don’t have much contact with your neighbours, Christmas could be the perfect time to break the ice, have a friendly chat and get to know them a bit better.
- Burglars wander around looking for chances. The best opportunity for the police to catch them in the act is for you to spot them before they break in. Be vigilant and report suspicious immediately to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111
And finally I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas.
For information about frauds and scams visit the dedicated ‘Stamp out Fraud in Derbyshire’ webpage at www.derbyshire.police.uk/stampoutfraud. To report a fraud call
If you need advice about fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to discuss your situation with their specialist fraud advisers. To report a fraud call 0300 123 2040 or alternatively, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Other crime prevention advice can be found at www.thecrimepreventionwebsite.com. For further crime prevention advice contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or isit:http://www.derbyshire. police.uk
Thursday 23rd October is the next scheduled visit of the Mobile Police Office which will be in the Weston Centre car park on Tamworth Street between 9.00am – 9.30am and between 9.35 – 10.00 on Hazelwood Hill, Hazelwood.
Please do report non-serious crimes and incidents to the police on the non-emergency number 101. For emergencies, such as when a crime is in progress, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened, 999 should be used. If you have any information on crime or anti-social behaviour please contact Derbyshire police on 101 or call: Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A reminder of police phone numbers:
Non-emergency police calls:101 Call Reception Centre (CRC) for non-emergency calls for policing services across the whole of Derbyshire.
Emergency calls: 999:
• A life is in danger
• A crime is being committed
• Offenders are still in the area
• A serious road collision has happened
• There is a possibility of violence or criminal damage.