- Check all door and window locking mechanisms comply with the conditions set by the insurance industry.
- Stand back from their property and “think thief”: Perimeter and garden/ boundary fences / walls / hedges should deter a would-be intruder. However, tall hedges / shrubs, close to the house, could act as a screen to an intruder. Access to the rear of the property, via side entrances, should be prevented.
- Consider installing an infrared-activated light effectively exposes an intruder.
- Ensure all outbuildings (garages, sheds etc.) are properly secured and locked at all times.
- Where possible, cars should be parked in a garage, rather than left on the drive. If this is not possible, ensure they are suitably secured and alarmed (any or all types). Do not leave valuables on display in the car.
- Garden and DIY tools and steps / ladders should be locked safely away and, preferably marked with forensic DNA. Interior and property identification
- Valuables should be security marked, preferably using a forensic DNA material, and serial numbers listed – this aids identification if property is recovered by the police. Jewellery and other small items of value should be photographed and listed.
- Do not leave keys to the property or car in obvious places to aid a thief.
- Added security (e.g. a safe, alarm system or security camera) may be required if there are items of high value. A chain and spy hole should be fitted to the main access door and used. Do not allow access, by a caller, to the property unless satisfied with their credentials and purpose.
- See Police leaflet – Making sure that your property is secure whilst on holiday
- Does your property look occupied when you are away?
- Watch members should let neighbours know that they are not in residence and leave a number where they may be contacted. Cancel newspapers, milk etc. and ask a neighbour to check the property regularly and be extra vigilant.
- Use the Post Office Keep Safe service to prevent mail piling up in your letter box or inside front-door.
- Ensure that the property looks occupied. Use automatic timing switches for lights and a radio are a good idea. A neighbour’s car securely parked on the drive would be better than parked on the road.
When and how to contact the police
- If you are witnessing a criminal act taking place or require immediate police presence call 999. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service (Relay UK).
- If you suspect or see a crime is about to be committed or see a person(s) behaving suspiciously, you should report your suspicions to the police immediately, giving as much information as possible (do your best to identify persons and /or vehicles) call : 101. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service on 18001 101.
- Alternatively you can report non-urgent matters online at https://www.police.uk/pu/contact-the-police/report-a-crime-incident/. You can also report via direct message on Twitter to @SurreyHeathBeat or message @SurreyHeathPolice on Facebook. Both methods go to a call centre which is monitored 24/7.
- Watch members should be as observant as possible from their vantage point but should not put themselves at risk. If they are reluctant to contact the police, they should seek a neighbour’s advice or opinion and / or speak to their Watch Representative – but do so immediately.
- If a Watch member has good information concerning criminal activity and wishes to report anonymously – call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.They can also contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team by visiting their web page at http://www.surrey.police.uk. The Surrey Heath Crime Reduction Adviser will offer free and independent crime reduction advice if contacted on 101.