In this modern world, preventing crime is not just a case of having good locks and common sense, but is being aware of fraud and scams – cyber crime, as it is called.
Physical security – the basics
There are some simple but very effective steps that can improve your security.
Outbuildings should be locked at all times. Large valuable items should be placed out of view and chained up to other items or a secure anchor point within the outbuilding. Items could also be property marked via engraving or painting your house number and postcode onto them. A record of their serial number should also be kept and registered onto a national property database, visit www.immobilise.com for further information.
Consider securing bicycles with a Sold Secure approved D-Lock, visit www.soldsecure.com to find products that meet this approval. A record of their frame number should also be kept and registered onto a national property database, visit www.immobilise.com for further information.
Criminals will often steal vehicle registration plates to place on their own vehicles in order to carry out other criminal activities in an attempt to go undetected. Protect your registration plates by securing them to your vehicle with tamper proof screws and bolts. Whilst on the subject of cars, if you have keyless entry make sure that when keys are left in the house they are in something that prevents the signal being intercepted and amplified by a thief outside. Put the keys in the fridge, or any metal container. If you are not sure a particular metal container is going to work, carry it, with the keys inside, towards the car and see if the doors unlock when you get close.
Unlike the above the majority of burglaries that are committed occur at the rear of properties. For this reason it is important to deter access into your back gardens. Gates should be closed and locked at all times when not in direct use. Deter the scaling of gates and fences by adding trellis to the tops of them.
Please make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked when not in direct use. Please don’t think that because you are only popping out for a moment that it won’t happen to you!
Consider the installation of an intruder alarm in your home. Any alarm installed should ideally conform to standard BS EN 50131 and should be fitted by a company that is NSI (National Security Inspectorate) or SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board) approved. Details of such companies can be found at www.nsi.org.uk or www.ssaib.co.uk
There are some excellent publications that give very good advice. One of the best is “Stay Safe” from the UK-wide Our Watch organisation. Click the link <here> to download a copy. The WAN does have printed versions of this booklet if you would prefer. Contact the membership secretary (see Contacts page).
It is so easy nowadays to transfer money or pay for goods over the internet or using a phone. But what happens to all that information as it travels over the air-waves then through networks then into the supplier’s local network and finally into their systems. We have to trust everyone to treat our information securely, and the vast majority do, but accidents will happen. There are ways to reduce the risk. The WAN gave a presentation on advice to reduce the risk in 2016. Click <here> to see a copy of the slides.
Recovering goods even when the worst happens
OK, so you’ve been burgled, but you can considerably improve your chances of recovering your items with a few ideas and a tracking product.
First of all, take photographs of jewellery and small valuable items, especially if they show distinctive marks. Photograph your bike. You may find a serial number stamped on the frame – photograph that too. The police have kits to stamp your post-code under the frame where the pedal crank goes. Contact them.
There is also a kit available called SelectaDNA which uses a jelly that contains thousands of microdots with a unique number. You buy the kit and register on-line your name and address against that kit’s code. A little bit of jelly dabbed by brush on electrical goods at the back or in joins in the plastic shows up under ultra-violet light. You put a SelectaDNA sticker on all the items (acts as a deterrent). The Police can obtain the name and address of the owner from SelectaDNA if they recover stolen goods.
A simpler alternate is to buy a cheap engraver and engrave your house number and post-code into the plastic casing. OK, so the robber could grind the engraving away, but the goods become suspicious to anyone being offered them.
Crime in the community
Crime is not just about theft from a house or car but involves the Police in a lot of community issues. If we, the residents, could identify these problems before they became crimes that the Police and Social Services have to spend a lot of time and money investigating, the Police would then have more time to help prevent the more traditional crimes.
Two social/community issues that are being addressed in Woking are “cuckooing” and drugs.
Here is a very good presentation on Cuckooing in the community >> Cuckooing in the community