Police Community Safety Advice

Following a recent spate of burglaries in Houghton Regis and the Parkside area in particular the local police would like to bring to residents’ attention some suggestions on how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of this crime.

Burglars are less likely to target homes that are occupied so making sure your property looks and feels like someone is home can be all that is needed to keep your belongs safe.

Simple crime prevention measures really can make all the difference such as leaving the lights on in main living areas and rooms and keeping a radio switched on and tuned in to a talk radio station. Thieves are essentially lazy opportunists, and if they have to make a lot of noise, spend a lot of time, or risk being seen, they are unlikely to bother.

Make sure YOU follow our annual advice to make YOUR home secure and help Bedfordshire Police continue to reduce the number of burglaries this winter.

·         Use your lights – keep them on a timer. Make sure they are switched on early even if you leave them on whilst going shopping or on the school run. And remember; use the lights in a main room and not in the hall way so it looks like someone is home.
·         Keep your radio switch on and tuned in to a talk station so it sounds like someone is at home.
·         Make sure your doors are securely locked at all times. If you have UPVC door make sure they are double locked.
·         Lock all windows and fit restrictors – thieves can wriggle through any gap larger than a human head.
·         Fit locks at the top and bottom of patio doors.
·         Visible alarms make burglars think twice – make sure you switch them on when you go out.
·         Never leave garages or sheds unlocked.

·         Check for weak spots and sagging fences on your boundary.
·         Stop a thief from getting into the back of the house where he can work unseen by fitting a strong, high gate across a side passage.
·         Be alert to strangers loitering in the street.  If you don’t recognise them or they are acting suspiciously, call the police on 101.
·         Don’t hide your keys under the mat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place they look.
·         Help us beat the bogus caller, always stop at the door, check the chain is on and verify the caller’s identification before opening your door.  IF IN DOUBT – KEEP THEM OUT.
·         Don’t forget to security mark your property and register it on www.immobilise.com
·         And finally remember, if a burglar does get in to your home handbags, wallets, and house or car keys are obvious targets, so please don’t leave them in a prominent position such as at the bottom of the stairs. Remember, the force Key Safe initiative and put your keys safely out of sight.

For more free crime reduction advice contact your nearest police station or speak to your local policing team on 101.

You can also email the Crime Reduction Team at crimereduction@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

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