Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where protecting your home against intruders is an absolute necessity. The latest statistics from UK Crime Stats reveal that more than 32,000 burglaries took place in July 2015, and again in August 2015. Here, we outline what can be done to make properties more secure, and what you can do to beef up your own home security.
Securing the home
There are certain areas of the country where action has already been taken to fight against this crime, with Milton Keynes being a prime example. As the results of a recent Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (NHWN) study revealed that 92% of domestic burglaries are committed through the front or back door, residents have been warned about the need to change their locks whenever they move home. Similar initiatives around the country promote the same notion: our homes are only as secure as we make them, and, therefore, it is imperative to take active steps to secure your property.
Another area that is taking positive steps in the fight against burglaries is Ealing. The Safer Neighbourhood Teams have developed a forensic property marking system, which can help homeowners to deter burglars. Approximately 9,000 of marking systems kits have been offered to residents that live in areas where burglaries are rife. The kit provides homeowners with an invisible property marking solution, which allows people to mark their items with a unique forensic code, which then enables the police to trace the items if they have been stolen. Homeowners will also be provided with warning stickers, which will deter criminals from targeting their homes.
Joining these initiatives, Leeds City Council has run an alleygating initiative to stop burglaries. This is designed for those that live in an area where burglars are using alleyways and carriageways to access properties. These alleyways will be gated up to prevent any attacks.
In addition, Kettering Borough Council has also run a burglary reduction initiative, where those who have already been the victim of a burglary, as well as those adjacent to burgled premises, are provided with a free home security survey. If required, door locks, window locks, bolts and door chains will be installed free of charge.
Salford City Council has also provided assistance with securing properties for eligible residents, including the installation of burglar alarms, window grilles and other similar tools.
Getting advice on crime prevention
If you are not eligible for free lock changes and security installation features, this does not mean you cannot access any help. North Somerset Council, for example, has distributed leaflets on protecting your home and last winter, they launched a campaign where the council and the police community officers (PCSOs) provided free advice to residences on keeping their home safe. All councils should provide you with thorough information on home safety.
So, to beat the burglar, the best thing to do is to get in touch with your local council or take a look at their website to see what council-run initiatives are being offered in your area. All councils will provide useful information on how you can safeguard your home; as you can see from this article, there is an abundance of help available to you in various forms, from alleygating to forensic solutions.
What can you do
Aside from these initiatives, there are some steps you can take to secure your home yourself, such as:
Install security grilles – security grilles are advisable because they are not only a deterrent against crime, but they provide a physical barrier too.
This means that your property will be equally protected when occupied or empty.
Don’t draw attention to any new purchases – By putting out boxes for expensive new laptops and televisions, you’re advertising what you have inside your property.
Reinforce entry points – As mentioned earlier, most burglaries occur through the front or back doors, so make an effort to secure these.
Get a dog – This isn’t going to be for everyone. But, if you were thinking about getting a dog, now is the time. Dogs can be a great deterrent against thieves.
Replace your front door with one that does not have a letterbox – Burglars can look through your letterbox, and they can even put devices through to help them gain access.
Install CCTV – If you can afford to fit CCTV in your home, you should certainly do so. Nowadays, this is becoming a lot more affordable than it once was, so it’s worth exploring your options.
Sadly, no method can guarantee you that burglars will never try to plan a strike against your home, but safeguarding your home as best you can will make you less likely to be a victim.