Some burglars may break in to your property looking for the keys to your vehicle.
Always store keys away from doors and windows and take them with you when you go to bed. It's a good idea to store electronic car keys in a signal blocking pouch so they can’t be scanned by thieves.
As well as locking and alarming your vehicle, you should also:
remove items left inside - including jackets and loose change
secure items in your boot, out of view, if you need to leave your vehicle while you’re out - but try not to leave anything inside your vehicle overnight
park in a garage, a secure car park or well-lit location whenever possible
wipe away sat nav suction marks left on your windscreen - this could be all it takes to entice a thief to break in, hoping the sat nav is still inside
Remember: If you’re clearing ice from your windscreen and need to go back into the house, remove the keys from the ignition and lock your car. Don’t be tempted to leave it running.
Other useful tips
Places where you store tools, machinery and other valuable equipment offer easy pickings to thieves - especially when items such as lawnmowers are likely to be packed away until spring.
You can reduce the risk of having your property stolen by:
always storing tools and equipment in a locked place
disabling lawn mowers and other machinery when not in use and chaining items together to a solid anchor point
using closed shackle padlocks and installing alarms and security lights
If your property is recovered after being stolen, you have more chance of getting it back if you have recorded some details (make, model, serial number and identifying marks) and have pictures of the items.
security-mark items with a UV pen or a forensic marking solution
keep hedges and fences well-maintained and gates locked
secure hanging baskets to their brackets
The thought of unexpected callers knocking at your door can be worrying to some - particularly older neighbours or family members.
While most people who call at your home will be genuine, occasionally people can try to trick their way into your home to steal your valuables and money. They are known as 'distraction burglars' or 'bogus callers'.
Are you expecting anyone?
Be cautious; people from water, gas and electric companies rarely visit without appointments. If there's a real emergency, police and firefighters are likely to be there.
On rare occasions, people may pose as members of the emergency services or armed forces to gain access to someone's home. If you're unsure, follow the tips below.
Top tips to protect yourself
lock your back doors and windows before answering the front door – thieves often work in pairs, one distracting you at the front door while the other tries the back
use your spyhole and chain and ask who they are through the door first
check their identification, even if they have a pre-arranged appointment
if you're not expecting them and they don’t have ID, don’t let them in
if they leave you a contact number don’t use it as it may be fake. Find the company’s number in the phone book, on the internet or on a recent bill instead
if you need to get something, close the door until you return
if in doubt ask them to leave and come back at a more convenient time when a family member or friend can be with you
Remember, you are never obliged to answer your door.
We will be providing regular crime prevention advice and updates in the lead up to, and during the festive season.