Is your Home inviting Crime

Is your Home inviting Crime

Burglary is very prevalent in our society. Recent surveys have shown that homes with no burglar alarm have a I in 5 chance of being targeted by thieves. The times when we could leave our front and back doors left unlocked so neighbours could just walk into our homes for a friendly chat and a cup of coffee are very much a thing of the past. Now we not only have to ensure our homes and possessions are secure at all times we need to show they are secure as well. All too often home owners leave there largest possession open to opportunist thieves and criminals. Basically you could be handing a intruder the keys to your house and all you possess on a plate. So how do you deter thieves from targeting your home?2% of all burglaries that take place are opportunist. Two out of ten burglars don’t even have to use force to gain entry! In other words the criminal spies his chance by reading what the home offers and makes his move and you are left bereft and distraught. So to understand how you need to make your home appear safe you need to get inside the thieves mind. What exactly the intruder is he looking for?• Easy access.

• A burglar alarm.

• Premises which are badly lit.

• Vulnerable entry points.

• Open entry points.

• CCTV.

• Access Control.

• A suggestion there are valuables in the house.

• Reachable valuables.

So what can you do to combat this line of thought?A good exercise suggested by the Kent police, Metropolitan Police is to take a walk around your own house pretending you are the thief. Ask yourself: how would you get into your home? Where are the weak areas for access? LocksFor instance, always ensure you close and lock all entry points in the house. Even when you are at home. If you are at the front of the house make sure the back door is locked. If you need windows open, make sure they are not open wider than the size of a human head (this is all the size a burglar will need to break in). Also make sure when your windows are open they are on a lock system. Ensure weak or damaged doorways or window panels are fixed. A thief will break damaged panels to remove glass or hinges. A closed window is not a total deterrent for a zealous thief.

LightingLighting at the front and the back of your house is essential. An intruder does not want to be seen in his criminal acts. Street lighting may be available or even better lighting which lights major points of access. Motion activated lighting is very useful, but ensure this lighting is correctly set and directed so it does not irritate next door, when the neighbourhood cat is on the prowl!

Intruder alarms

A intruder alarm is obviously an excellent investment. Just the sight of the box on the wall is enough to make any intruder think twice and move on somewhere else.

Valuables

If you have just bought some expensive commodities, don’t leave the empty cardboard boxes outside. This is an advertisement to a would-be thief that there are some brand new valuables inside!

Also, don’t leave gardening utensils out in the garden or any valuables in sight of the window or the letterbox. For instance if you are going out turn off the lap-top take it away from the window and put it away from prying eyes.

Keys

Never hang a spare key from a letterbox. Even putting it in a plant pot or some other hidey hole maybe a little risky as criminals will look in the most likely places. It is considered much safer to ask a neighbour to look after a spare key for you.

…and finally

Gravel, believe it or not, can be a good deterrent. Basically because it is loud. Any intruder is going to find it difficult entering a house quietly with a gravel drive.

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