Looking after your property

Many of us have the latest electronic gadgets, computers, jewellery and must-have accessories in our home. Unfortunately, this provides thieves with the perfect incentive to commit burglaries.

But there are a number of precautions you can take to protect your new gadgets and belongings from opportunistic burglars.

Tips to secure your property

  • Mark your property. Use an ultraviolet pen to mark your items with your postcode and the number of your house/flat or the first two letters of its name.
  • Take pictures of all valuable items.
  • Make a note of the make, model and serial numbers of your items. This will help the police to identify them if they’re stolen.
  • Invest in motion sensor lighting to light up the approach to your house.
  • Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to fold boxes so they don’t advertise your new contents of your home to thieves. Ideally take the packaging to a recycling plant.
  • Protect your identity and shred receipts and personal information.
  • Make sure your doors and windows are locked. As tempting as it is during the festive period, don’t feed outdoor light cables through windows as thieves will use this as a way of getting into your house.
  • Keep your curtains/blinds closed at night.
  • Make your home looks lived in if you’re going away. Cancel milk and paper deliveries, use light timers to turn lights on and off, and ask neighbours or a family member to pick up your mail and open and close your curtains.
  • Make sure your garage and shed are locked securely. Make sure any ladders that you leave outside are also secured against something so burglars can’t use them to access your house.
  • Don’t hide keys under flowerpots or under door mats as burglars know where to look.
  • Use a house alarm if you have one.

Most burglaries are carried out by opportunist thieves. In 1 out of 5 burglaries, they don’t even have to use force to enter your home – they get in through an open door or window.

So make sure your windows and doors are locked.

Operation Shield

Operation Shield is Cheshire Constabulary's unique DNA marking system that is protecting homes and businesses in Cheshire by reducing burglary opportunities, deterring offenders, and identifying and recovering stolen property. For more information visit the Operation Shield page.

Other ways to protect your property

More information can be found on the Secured By Design website, which includes burglary prevention and Asset Marking and Recovery advice.