Housebreaking is a crime that we all fear, but there are a number of different ways that you can help to deter burglars.
Burglars prefer to gain easy access to homes, so the harder you make it for the criminal the lower your chances are of becoming a victim. In addition, if you do become a victim, there are measures that you can take to increase the chance that your goods will be returned to you if they are later recovered by the police.
Here are some ways that you can protect your property:
Security mark your property with a UV marker pen. You can use this pen to place an invisible imprint of your postcode and house number on your possessions.
Place a sticker on a conspicuous window of your home that states your possessions have been security marked will also help to deter thieves. Ask for one of these stickers at your local police office.
Keep your home securely locked at all times. Most house break-ins are committed by opportunist thieves who do not have to break-in due to a door or window having been left open.
Speak to the crime prevention officer at your local police office about the safety devices (locks, timers, lighting etc) and procedures (closing curtains after dark, cancelling regular deliveries when you are on holiday etc) that you can put in place to increase the security of your property.
Talk to your landlord or council about installing a telephone entry system. This may be easier to organise if you get together with other residents.
Don't put your name or room number on your keyring, if you live in shared accommodation. If it is lost or stolen, the thief will have information that could direct them to your home and your property.
Change the locks - if other people, such as previous tenants, could be in possession of keys that fit the locks in your home.
Don't give keys to tradesmen as they can make copies quickly and easily.
Don't go in - if you see signs of a break-in at your home - like a smashed window or an open door. The burglar may still be inside. Instead, go to a neighbour and call the police.
Don't show people around on your own, if you're selling your home. Ask your estate agent to send a representative to accompany anyone who wants to view the house. Opportunist thieves can use such opportunities to steal your possessions.