This message is dated Monday 10th September 2018 for Maidenhead.
As the evenings draw in - everyone needs to think about their security now and actually do something about it, while we have time and warm evenings to get things done..
If in the winter, we go to work and our house will be in darkness before we get home, we need to start thinking about and planning:
Guard Cams and
What lights to leave on
So that our home looks occupied, even if we are not home.
- Stand at your perimeter - where your property meets the pavement / public area and look at your home. Look at it, with the eyes of an opportunist thief. Look for it’s vulnerability. Are there hidden / secluded areas a thief could use to break in.
- Can you see a visible burglar alarm ?
- If you don’t have a burglar alarm, think about putting up a dummy box, which is visible from the road - opportunist thieves know nothing about alarms and generally avoid them - there is always an easier target nearby.
- If all the other houses in your road show burglar alarms, you will become a target, so install a dummy box, if you cannot afford an alarm.
- Can you see visible security lights ? Are they working properly ? Check when it’s dark, make sure there are not unlit areas, which would allow access to vulnerable areas.
- Think about replacing one of the front Security lights, with a Guard Cam. These have an inbuilt hidden HDD colour camera, which records every time the beam is broken. This is particularly useful at night as anyone filmed on your property will be floodlit. Standard CCTV only records in very fuzzy black and white. They range from about £90 - for a simple version which you have to be able to access to remove the memory card, to £250 which sends footage to your mobile phone.
- Do you have visible CCTV cameras ? These are not your first security option, but which are ‘nice to have’ once you have an alarm. They will not prevent you home being burgles, but may provide evidence after the event has taken place. Our opportunist thieves are very CCTV savvy - hence their use of hoodies ! If you cannot afford real CCTV, there are really good dummy CCTV cameras available.
- Is your front area covered in gravel ? This would deter thieves, as it is very noisy in the early hours, or would permit silent access ?
- Is the front door fully visible / overlooked, by anyone walking past, stopping a thief forcing your front door, or obscured by high hedges ?
- If so, hedges must be cut back to chest height, to allow good surveillance of the property, by passers by.
- Are all front windows secure with window locks ?
- Are they under-planted with prickly plants, such as Pyrocantha ?
- Can you see any side accesses, to the back of the house ? Are they protected, or give easy access to the back. Are there 6ft wooden gates with visible shiny brass locks ? Metal gates are fine, but would they provide footholds, for someone to climb over ?
- If there is a handle, would that provide a foothold to climb over ?
- If there is no visible fastenings / locks on the front, there must be a bolt on the rear, which can be accessed, by reaching over the top !
- Is there anything to prevent a thief from climbing over ?
- If not, you need to install ‘rickety’ trellis - rickety, so that it does not provide a handhold. Wooden trellis, because it is rough and really good at scratching hands, providing skin cells for DNA testing.
- If you have trellis, plat roses / prickly plants through it.
Walk onto the property to the front door and do this again:
The Front Door:
- How secure does the front door look ?
- Does it have 2 shiny well cleaned locks. One - a Rim-latch, Yale / Chubb type lock, at shoulder height and Two - a BS Standard 5 lever Mortice lock at hip height. You need two locks to prevent the boor being ‘shouldered’ and forced.
- Does the door have glass panels ? Can you see inside ? Can you perhaps see piles of post if you are away ?
- Doe you have glass panels / leaded panels either side of the front door ? Can these be smashed to provide access to the locks ? Leaded lights can easily be prised from the lead and a hand inserted to open the door, if it is left unlocked.
- Where is the letterbox ? If it is halfway down, what can be seen, if an opportunist lifts the flap and looks inside ? Install draft brushes or a letterbox guard.
- Do you have a spyhole ? If you do, consider a spyhole camera. These are now brilliant and can send images of anyone at your front door to your mobile phone.
- Glass in front doors should be laminate glass, to prevent it being smashed. If you have leaded lights, install a laminated glass panel on the back.
- UPVC front doors must be locked, even when you are inside the house. It is not enough to simply lift the handle. That is the equivalent of putting up the latch on a wooden door.
- Mortice locks, must be locked every time you leave the house and at night.
- What is visible, if you stand and look inside, what can you see ?
- Are there tasty morsels on view ? Can you see rooms / stairs and internal security.
- Can you see a rough idea of the type of valuable items that may be inside.
- Are the window frames in good condition, or do they look flimsy and easily forced.
The next message will move onto accessing the rear and how to protect that area.
9/9 Sunday 0.05 a.m. St. Luke’s Road. Business burglary. A member of the public phoned the police to say there was an alarm activation. The owner attended and found a forced ground floor window. They also saw torchlight inside the building. Offenders ran from the building towards the Cookham Road. The police attended immediately and carried out an area search, locating 2 men which matched the descriptions given. They were arrested upon suspicion of Burglary.
9/9 Sunday 2.25 a.m. Club, Holmanleaze. Police responded to an alarm activation. They saw a man making off on a bike. A rear window had been smashed. Untidy search inside. The police followed the man on the bike who was arrested upon suspicion of burglary.
8/9 Saturday 1 p.m. / 2.35 p.m. Nicholson’s Lane. Bike locked in a bike rack stolen. A red& white, Trek, mountain bike.
9/9 Sunday 6.10 p.m. High Street. Attempted theft of a motorbike. The thief was disturbed and made off.
8/9 Saturday 2 p.m. Grenfell Place. Theft of a bike propped up against a shop while the owner went inside for a few minutes. A black & blue, Carrera bike.
9/9 Sunday 2 p.m. White Hart Road. Bike propped up against a wall for a few minutes stolen. A Carrera Xfire 2 bike.
RIVERSIDE & BELMONT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
BISHAM, COOKHAM, HURLEY, THE WALTHAMS, LITTLEWICK GREEN & KNOWL HILL:
7/9 - 10/9 Friday 4 p.m. / Monday 7.10 a.m. Business, Bisham Road. Building site broken into after building demolished. Offenders squeezed under the gate. Search of whole site. Office door forced. Laptop and bag, large tin of coffee and tea, stainless steel containers, mugs, biscuits and bottles of water from the fridge stolen.
8/9 - 9/9 Saturday 4 p.m. / Sunday 7 p.m. Bradenham Lane, Bisham. Car index plates stolen.
PINKNEYS GREEN & FURZE PLATT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
BOYN HILL, COX GREEN & WOODLANDS PARK:
8/9 Saturday 8.30 a.m. Boyn Hill Avenue. Car index plates stolen.
OLDFIELD & BRAY:
8/9 Saturday 3.40 a.m. Farm, Stroud Farm Road, Holyport. A pile of rubbish set alight.
I am afraid the PEC are slow to answer at the moment - hence my recommendation that you let us know using the online reporting system:
Eyes and ears.....................and brain
‘You can play your part in helping to tackle the terrorist threat facing the UK’.
‘Everyone, from law enforcement, to businesses, to the general public, has a role to play in keeping the UK safe from terrorism and to effectively combat the threat. Everyone needs to work together. Our aim, is to encourage people to be more vigilant – ‘if you suspect it, report it’ – please report all suspicious activity to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321’.
‘For more information follow this link: https://act.campaign.gov.uk/