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keep your home safe now and into the summer

Alert message sent 26/05/2020 10:20:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


With so many of us having been “locked down” in our homes, the number of house burglaries has dropped over the past weeks; however, thieves are still out and about, and have been taking advantage of open doors and windows or poorly secured garages and sheds.

You can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim by taking a few simple security measures to help make your property less attractive to burglars and thieves.

Your home
Whether you leave your home for the day to go to work, pop to the shops, get some fresh air or even if you are working in your back garden, you should take steps to make your home look occupied and ensure any accessible windows (ground floor or reachable) and doors are secure. 
Please lock all doors and windows at night. If you have a UPVC door, remember to lift the handle and lock it with the key.
Keep all valuables and keys, including car keys, out of sight and out of reach of windows and letterboxes. Double check your vehicle is locked and store keyless fobs in a suitable security pouch. 
Ensure side and rear gates are in good condition and locked to prevent access to the rear of the property. Move bins away from side walls and fences.
Keep ladders and gardening tools securely locked away. Don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home.
Cut back your shrubs and hedges to aid visibility.
Consider a timer switch for your radio and lights.
Service and maintain your burglar alarm.
Ensure sheds and garages are fully secured.
If you go out in the evenings don’t leave your home in darkness.

Detached Garages
Many detached garages are tucked away from the view of passing traffic or local residents, so are often targeted by thieves.
When was the last time you visited your garage and ensured the garage door lock actually works?
Garage doors are usually light weight and supplied with only a basic type lock that can be forced with a screwdriver or similar bladed tool so any door will benefit from the installation of additional security locks. Mortice locks or lockable bolts fitted down towards the bottom corners reduce the risk of offenders gaining access by prising the bottom of the door outwards.
Security mark and register tools and other items that you store in your garage so they can be identified at immobilise.com.
Think about chaining items to secure shelves and installing anchor points to which motor bikes or bicycles can be padlocked inside your garage.

Garden Sheds
Don’t rely on the fact your shed is within your garden for its security. There are thieves who will wander into private gardens to check for unlocked or insecure sheds and steal tools, lawn mowers, bicycles or whatever else they can lay their hands on.
Thieves have been known to use tools or items such as garden spades to go on and break into the house.
As with a detached garage, sheds should be fitted with secure locks. Additionally there are solar powered lights and alarms available that may deter a thief from targeting your property.
Security mark and register tools and other items you have stored in your shed and padlock items such as your bikes, lawnmower and even BBQs.

Further information and crime prevention advice can be obtained from the Thames Valley Police web site at www.thamesvalley.police.uk.  

If you have any information regarding burglaries or persons committing offences, please report it online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call 101. Alternatively, you call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Message sent by
Michelle Beahan (Police, NHW & Community Messaging Co-ordinator, Oxford LPA)

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