Crowthorne Parish Council

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Winter Burglary Advice

With the darker nights setting in we would like to remind you to keep your house secure and lit up!

When you leave your home look back and think are there places where a burglar could break into your home without being seen? How would you get in if you had forgotten your keys? If you could get inside, so could a burglar.

Key advice for Bracknell and Wokingham

Below is lots of crime prevention advice but here are the top bits the Bracknell and Wokingham Team would like you to know.

  • Please make sure your doors and windows are locked. Lots of the burglaries we see are opportunist, this means that they have seen an easy way into your property and taken the opportunity. Keeping your doors and windows locked really makes a difference
  • Double lock your doors. We have seen burglaries where people gain entry through pulling the door handle through the letter box, double locking your doors prevents this.
  • Make sure your car keys are not in view or near the doors or windows.
  • Don’t advertise your holiday on social media. It reveals to the world that your house is empty whilst you are away. It is also possible it could affect your insurance cover.

During the winter

  • As the nights get darker earlier, leave a light on inside your home.
  • Timer switches are a great way to make your home look occupied even if you are out. Change the times that the lights come on to make it seem like people are home.
  • Make sure your front door is well lit. Use dusk to dawn lighting that automatically comes on as it gets dark.
  • Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times. In Bracknell and Wokingham we have lots burglaries that are opportunist that come in through unlocked doors. Please remember to lock your doors!

Windows and doors security

  • When you go out, always close and lock external doors and windows, even if you are just going out for a short time.
  • UPVC or composite doors have multi-locking systems, but it is strongly recommended they are fitted with an anti-snap lock cylinder (TS007) of 3* standard as a minimum
  • Window locks can be seen from outside and could deter a burglar from forcing the window
  •  If you have deadlocks, use them. They make it more difficult for a thief to get out again. But don’t leave the key near the door or in an obvious place nearby
  • If you have a flat roof extension the windows above it should always be locked

Keeping keys safe

  • Ensure your keys are kept in a safe place out of sight and well away from your letterbox
  • Don’t tag keys so they can be easily identified
  • Keep all spare keys in a safe place
  • Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed
  • Consider buying a safe for personal papers, passports and small items of jewellery. This must be secured to the floor or a wall

Security outside your home

  • Never leave garages or sheds unlocked, especially if they connect to your property
  • Visible burglar alarms and carefully directed security lighting can deter burglars. Make sure alarms stop sounding after 20 minutes and lights don’t disturb your neighbours

Living in a flat or shared housing

  • Consider having a phone entry system fitted to the main door of your building
  • Never buzz open the door for strangers, or hold open the door for someone you don’t know
  • Get home contents insurance

Going on holiday

  • Suspend any deliveries, such as milk and newspapers
  • Don’t share when you are going on holiday on social media. It is even possible it could affect your insurance cover.
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Try to make your home look occupied while you are not there Use timer switches on lamps or your radio

Marking your property

Below are some examples of how you can mark or register your property to ensure it is returned to you if it is ever stolen.

Ultraviolet or invisible marking

It can only be seen by an ultraviolet lamp, although it does fade over time and can be washed off eventually.

Permanent marking

Suitable for hard surfaces by engraving or etching.

Tracking for laptops and smartphones

These can now be traced if stolen by using online tracking software, which is usually free. Search online and register your laptop or phone.

Know your IMEI number.

Intruder alarms

  • If you don’t have an intruder alarm installed, we would suggest that you consider having one installed. Intruder alarms may prevent intruders from breaking into your home as a visible deterrent. Alternatively, if an intruder does attempt to break into your home the alarm activating may scare them off. 

Be a good neighbour

If you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood, call the police on 101 or, in an emergency, 999.

Rhys Crowley (Police, Admin Assistant, Loddon Valley)

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