News 19 March 2009

Top tips to prevent a burglary

Police in East Kent are reminding residents to be vigilant and take steps to protect their property from burglars.

The advice is issued as the warmer weather approaches, as this is when the area will historically experience a rise in opportunistic burglaries from insecure houses.

Detective Inspector Tony Pledger, is keen to let criminals in East Kent know that local residents will not be a soft touch this spring, he said: ‘We are working hard to arrest and charge those who think it is acceptable to steal from houses and we want local people to support our efforts by thinking about the security of their home.

‘Though we support the use of house alarms and security lighting, home security needn’t be expensive. Simple actions such as locking away ladders and garden tools so that a burglar does not use them to gain access to your home may prevent you from being targeted.

‘Other steps include keeping your keys away from windows and doors. This will prevent a thief from smashing the window so they can steal the keys to your car or garage. Remember thieves are wise to keys hidden under stones, garden gnomes and welcome mats. Do not leave your house keys in places like these, if you can get into your property without your keys, so could a burglar.

‘Finally don’t be complacent when you are at home, if you are gardening make sure your house in secure and no one can get in whilst you are distracted. Also when you retire for the night check you have locked your front door and windows. By remaining vigilant we can reduce burglary and make the area even safer.’

Crime prevention top tips:

  • Always lock all your doors and windows. Remember - any space big enough for a human head is big enough for someone to climb through.
  • Never leave keys in hiding places such as under flower-pots or on top of door-frames. Burglars know where to look.
  • Where possible fit an alarm and security lighting.
  •  If you are going away on holiday or for any length of time, use timers on your lights. Also, cancel your milk for the duration of your absence and ask a friend or neighbour to collect your post so it doesn’t build up on your doormat.
  •  Never leave property in a porch you tend to leave insecure, even if the door is usually shut.
  • Don’t leave expensive items on windowsills where they could be seen from the street.
  • Property mark your valuables. You can use a UV pen or etching tool to mark property with your house number and postcode. This will make it easy to identify and will act as a huge deterrent to thieves.