Tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime in your own home

Tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime in your own home

After the recent spate of burglaries in and around Swindon the police have released a number of tips to help you stay safe in your own homes.

To improve the security in and around your home we are asking householders to remember the following advice:

• Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even if you’re in the garden, and make sure you have approved locks or bolts on all doors and windows

• Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like in a plant pot or letterbox – a thief knows all the hiding places

• Keep all keys, purses and wallets out of sight and away from the letterbox

• Consider installing a burglar alarm, and only use a company that is registered or certified with the NSI or the SSIAB

• Do not open the door to anyone you don’t know or are not expecting. Always check by using a spy-hole or look through a window

• Make sure that you have up to date contents insurance

• Register all serial numbers from electrical items, tools and garden equipment with Immobilise.com the free national property register. Mark items without serial numbers with an artificial DNA property marker such as Smartwater or SelectaDNA

• Do not keep large amounts of cash at home – it is much safer in a bank or building society

• Trim back any plants and hedges at the front of your property to no higher than 1 metre to remove hiding places

• Always report any suspicious activity, note any vehicle registrations, descriptions of persons involved and direction of travel

• Use a timer to set lights to mimic your usual activity when you are not at home

• Take photographs of all jewellery including hallmarks and keep them safe. Also consider using an artificial DNA property marker on jewellery or other valuable items

• Make sure any bolts are low enough so they cannot be opened by reaching over the top of the gate

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