Crime Prevention Advice for Darker Nights

 At home
    • Keep front and back doors locked at all times and keep keys and valuables out of sight and reach from cat flaps, letterboxes and downstairs doors and windows
    • Close, and ideally lock, all windows when you’re not in the room – approximately one in four burglaries in the county still happen because doors have been left unlocked or windows left open
    • If it’s dark before you get home, use timer switches to turn on the lights – change the times that the lights come on, to create the illusion that someone is moving around inside the house. Plug-in dusk-to-dawn lights are also popular
    • Make sure your door is well lit and fully visible from the street – dusk-to-dawn lamp adaptors are available from DIY stores
    • Check existing lighting is in good working order and replace any faulty equipment – remember to check batteries in torches and smoke alarms
    • Keep shrubbery and hedges at the front of the house pruned to below one metre – remove any cover for a burglar to work unseen and give your neighbours every chance to spot something suspicious
    • Keep curtains closed at night – if you are away, ask a trusted neighbour to close them for you, and open them again in the morning
    • On cold mornings, never leave your car unattended with the engine running to defrost the windows
    • Assess your property’s perimeter and check it is secure. Cut back overgrown hedges and repair broken fences and gates
    • Secure sheds and outbuildings with good padlocks and consider fitting alarms. Lock all tools and ladders away securely

When out and about

  • When out in your car, look out for Park Mark accredited car parks and remove all items from your vehicle when you leave it
  • Don’t leave your keys in the ignitions, even when filling up with fuel or popping into the shop
  • De-clutter your handbag – take out only what you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • When you’re out shopping, keep all bags firmly closed and on your person at all times
  • Carry wallets and phones in inside pockets of jackets or coats, not in the back pocket of trousers
  • When using your credit or debit card, shield your PIN and take the time to make sure you safely put away your purse or wallet
  • Never leave your bag unattended on the back of trolleys or pushchairs
  • Don’t be tempted to return to your car and drop off your shopping bags – keep them with you or take them home
  • If you see anything suspicious, or have an information about crime or criminals, call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111
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