Seasonal security safety advice

As the dark nights draw in and the clocks go back, we want to remind everyone not to make a target of yourself.

Crime tends to increase at this time of year – which is why we want you to check your security measures as you change your clocks, and be extra vigilant to ensure thieves don’t take advantage.

DCI Simon Draco said:

“We want people to protect their homes and not give thieves a chance at this time of year. Being extra vigilant and checking home security this weekend will help keep both your home and possessions safe from criminals.
“Simple steps such as thinking about minimising your social media footprint before posting your whereabouts and activity if on holiday or set running and cycling GPS systems to start a distance away from the home all help to outwit thieves.”

There are lots you can do to protect your property, including improving the security around your home.

Below are some tasks that we would like you to think about doing as you change your clock:

Home security:

  • Move your house and car keys to somewhere safe and away from doors and windows? You must never leave keys on show or where someone can simply hook them up from a letterbox or window.
  • Get into the habit of setting your burglar alarm every time you leave the house.
  • Check your garage and garden shed locks are secure, and move any tools that are in sight.
  • Trim back any plants or hedges that a burglar could hide behind

If you are away:

  • Do not leave your curtains closed during the day if you are not at home
  • Use timer switches to turn on some lights when it gets dark if you are away
  • Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries if you go on holiday
  • Ask a neighbour or family member to look after your home if you are staying away

Securing motorcycles and mopeds

  • Get a good lock and chain. A brake disc lock and a good alarm and immobiliser system can make your vehicle less of a target to thieves
  • Consider fitting a paging alarm that alerts you via SMS when your bike is under attack. Using a talking alarm instead of sirens is also effective in discouraging thieves, as is installing a GPS tracking system.
  • Is your bike on show? Is so get into the habit of storing it in a garage and use a cover if you park it in a street but make sure its well-lit
  • Don't leave your bike keys in an easy to find place in the house
  • Security mark your bike. These identifications improve the chances of your bike being returned to you and can help the police make a successful prosecution.
  • Do you use a ‘U’ lock? This is a grounded anchor which is a safer option and will take more effort to break. Brake disc locks may deter opportunists and joy riders, but professional thieves are simply going to pick the bike up and put it in the back of a van within a few seconds.

Social media

If you use social media please check the 5Cs:

  • Create – create strong passwords
  • Cover – protect devices with regular updating of software
  • Confidentiality – don’t share personal information and know who you are talking to
  • Clicking – think before you click, make sure the source is genuine
  • Connected – always use a secure connection

These simple steps along with minimising your social media footprint and thinking carefully before posting your whereabouts and activity if on holiday will also help to protect you and your home. Finally set running and cycling GPS systems to start a distance away from the home to outwit thieves.