More than 6,000 homes are burgled each year because thieves have easy access to the property’s keys.
Almost a third of Brits often leave a spare key hidden outside their home, according to official Police data. People also leave keys inside where a thief could reach them through a letterbox or open window and a fifth of Brits leave their front or back door unlocked when they’re out. If you must leave a key outside, use a Police approved key safe and only give the code to people you trust.
British burglars won’t steal from their own neighbourhoods but take an opportunistic approach when it comes to breaking into properties, a report has found. The research confirmed that as well as hitting more upmarket areas, burglars will often choose a property that gives them an easy chance to enter. An unlocked window or door, an open garage, or a property with no security measures such as an up-to-date alarm system, will catch the eye of any opportunistic burglar.
Key deterrents to a burglar are:
- A flat
- When a property has lights on or music playing, which indicates the property is occupied
- Having a dog
- Having a heavy amount of security including CCTV; high-quality and new alarm systems; high gates and a long driveway
And finally, beware of cold callers locally who are possibly ex offenders selling items from holdalls and can get aggressive.
Where to Get More Help
Your local Neighbourhood Action Group websites which contain lots of useful information about home security and gives residents the opportunity to contact their NAG via the website if they have any issues in their area. Websites currently up and running are for Newbury SW, Shaw/Speen/Donnington and Thatcham. These web pages can be found by going into the website: www.uknags.org.uk and then click on Find your NAG.
The Thames Valley NHW Association provides various information, including personal alarms, SmartWater etc that can be purchased via Val McPherson, as well as promoting Neighbourhood Watch and listing events/meetings etc.
National Neighbourhood Watch gives you the opportunity to list your local NHW scheme and receive their newsletter. There are only a few local schemes currently shown on this site and I would encourage Co-ordinators to add their information.
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 03454 040506.