Focus on Crime – Preventing Burglary
Given the austerity challenges and significant cuts to our police officer numbers since 2010, the focus on the prevention of crime is at the forefront of my police and crime plan.
This week’s ‘Focus On Crime’ column highlights the importance of adopting simple crime prevention measures and the positive impact these can have on helping us to keep individuals and communities safe.
First tip is simple, yet very effective. Always lock your doors behind you to reduce the risk of sneak in burglaries and potential 2 in 1 crimes. This is where the burglar steels your car key as well as your vehicle. By making it a habit to always lock your doors behind you, you can protect your home and vehicle. Far too many burglaries occur because doors are simply unlocked.
Burglaries can be a distressing experience for victims, often resulting in financial loss and emotional trauma. However, many burglaries can be prevented by implementing basic crime prevention measures.
Improving lighting is very effective. Well-lit exteriors can help deter would be burglars who prefer operating under the cover of darkness. Motion-activated lights can be used as an energy-efficient way to startle intruders and draw attention to their presence.
Internally, timer switches on lamps or indoor lights can provide a low-cost solution as they can create the illusion of an active household during the hours of darkness, even when you’re away from home.
Thankfully, improvements in technology are giving householders more options for securing their homes. Inexpensive wireless video doorbells and CCTV cameras can offer real-time surveillance and mobile alerts. These devices not only act as a visible deterrent but also serve as your eyes and ears, alerting you to any suspicious activity in and around your home. The recorded footage can also help police in their investigations.
It’s always worth taking time to photograph your valuables and sentimental items. In the unfortunate event of a burglary or theft, having clear images of your belongings can help identify and track down your stolen items.
Finally, one of the most popular crime prevention tools available is the establishment of neighbourhood watch in residential areas. As a former Borough Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, working in Newton Aycliffe, I saw first-hand the positive difference these schemes, and most importantly the people, made in helping reduce crime and the fear of crime and how a strong network of watchful eyes and capable guardians made it harder for criminals to commit crime.
Neighbourhood Watch volunteers are already helping to prevent, deter and detect crimes across the force area so it’s not surprising that I am determined to invest in and expand Neighbourhood Watch across County Durham and Darlington. If you would be interested in knowing more about NHW follow the link to the left.
Prevention is undeniably the most effective approach to combating crime. By following basic crime prevention advice, residents can significantly reduce the occurrence of burglaries and help us to create safer, stronger and more resilient communities.