#StolenMemories | Beat the burglars this festive season

There has been reports of numerous sheds which have been broken into in orchard way today (08/12/16).

Your home contains all of your special memories. If your home is ever burgled those memories could be stolen. This year, in the run up to Christmas, when the days are getting shorter, take steps to protect your home and keep your memories safe.

  • Half of us still advertise our empty homes on social media by ‘checking in’ to other places or posting about being on holiday
  • A quarter of us give burglars the tools they need to break in by leaving ladders and tools in our gardens
  • Three quarters of us still don’t set our burglar alarms at night or if we go out, even if we have them in our homes
  • More than a third of us don’t routinely put our valuable items out of view of burglars
  • One in five of us don’t lock our doors every time we leave the house
  • A quarter of us don’t leave a light on when we go out

Quick Actions List – This is our list of anti-burglary actions you can take to quickly improve the security of your home and your memories.

  • Stop sharing your location and holidays on social media – If you post your holiday snaps when you’re abroad, check-in to a restaurant, or update your status when you’re out and about you’re effectively telling a burglar that your property is open for a viewing.
  • Use time switches attached to lamps – Many burglaries in Gloucestershire happen between the hours of 15:00 and 20:00. When the nights are drawing in avoid allowing your property to look empty when you’re at work or out.
  • Stop sharing your valuables online – When you share your expensive bike, watch, medals and jewellery online you might just be advertising it to a burglar.
  • Use a fake TV burglar deterrent device – These devices cost between £10 and £25 and give the illusion that someone is watching the TV in the property.
  • Keep your doors, windows and back gate locked – even when you’re there.
  • Make sure there are no tools or equipment in your garden that can be used against you
  • Put up a ‘Beware of the dog’ sign – Burglars aren’t usually keen on dogs since they can bark and bite. Use a simple and cheap sign to put off a potential visit
  • Move your wheelie bin – Where is your wheelie bin? Is it next to your locked back gate? Could someone use it to quickly get over the gate? If so move it away.
  • Move your house and car keys – Never keep your keys in the door lock. It takes seconds for someone to open your door and take the keys to use at a later date. You probably won’t hear someone open your door and think that you’ve just lost your keys.
  • Buy good quality locks for your shed and consider adding wire mesh to any windows

Planned Actions – This is our list of anti-burglary actions you can take to improve the security of your home and your memories with a bit of planning.

  • Put up some security lighting
  • Buy and use a good quality alarm system
  • Lay down some gravel – Gravel is noisy and can alert you to unwanted attention around your property.
  • Store your high value items in a properly secured and installed safe
  • Install good quality CCTV
  • Trim your hedges, greenery and bushes
  • Going away? Think mail, deliveries, lights and curtains.

Impact Reduction – Unfortunately some people do fall victim to burglary despite taking steps to protect their homes. Here are some additional actions you can take to protect your property if it is stolen which may make getting it back to you more likely.

  • Register your valuable property with Immobilise or BikeRegister
  • Make a note of any suspicious people or vehicles in your area
  • Record the serial numbers and MAC addresses for electronic items as soon as you buy them
  • Use forensic property marking on your valuables (SmartWater)
  • Back up your phone, tablet or laptop

Crimestoppers:

Give information anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court
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With thanks to Gloucestershire Police – gloucestershire.police.uk/stolenmemories

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