Five Resolutions for your Home and Personal Security

posted 3 Apr 2017, 11:06 by Chris Hoare

Every year the New Year arrives brimming with possibilities and Suffolk Police are reminding people to include security resolutions as part of their 2017 goals.

The New Year encourages many of us to vow to quit our vices, eat better and improve finances but what about your home? As the saying goes, home is where your heart is and officers are urging the public to put more efforts into making it safe and secure, with the following five resolutions.

  • Secure your home

Most burglaries are committed by opportunistic criminals who happen to see insecure premises where they can help themselves. Intruders will look for the best opportunity to break into a property, some will scope out an address first, so officers are urging residents to ensure their home looks occupied, that hedges which might conceal a thief are kept trimmed and that there are no tools accessible that might aid an intruder to gain access.

Remember to safeguard your keys as part of your home security measures. Every year police are handed thousands of lost keys, which cannot be returned to their rightful owner as there’s no way to identify them. Suffolk Constabulary’s SAFEKey initiative works to remedy this and, operating across the UK and the EU, provides members with a branded key fob inscribed with a unique reference number to identify them as the key holder at a small cost of just £1 per month. The money generated is driven back into the community to support projects and schemes, as per the Police and Crime Commissioner’s objectives. To find out more, please visit: www.suffolk.safekey.org.uk.

  • Avoid heating oil theft

In the winter months, often coupled with the rise in the cost of fuel, heating oil also becomes an attractive target for thieves. Suffolk Police are reminding homeowners of simple measures to prevent such thefts: positioning lights with a ‘Dusk ‘til Dawn’ feature close to the tank, ensuring your fence is high and not easy to climb, and investing in good quality locks, such as shackle padlocks.

Close shackle padlocks offer better resistance to bolt croppers and other tools that thieves usually come equipped with. Homeowners should check their oil gauges regularly, which will indicate any potential theft, and consider installing a remote electronic oil level gauge, which triggers an alarm if there is a sudden drop.

  • Join in with your community

One way people can help keep their local area safer is by joining or setting up a Neighbourhood Watch group. Neighbourhood Watch schemes can help reduce crime, and opportunities for crime, by encouraging residents to look out for each other and to report anything they feel is suspicious. To find out about local watch schemes in operation, please visit: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/home-safety/watch-schemes.

You can also keep up to date with the very latest in policing in your local area by signing up to Police Connect, a free messaging service provided by the Constabulary; from news and appeals, to local policing events and meetings. To find out more or to register, please visit: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/services/police-connect

  • Online safety

Online fraud is one of the most widespread forms of cybercrime and protecting yourself is key as many more of us using mobile phones, tablets and other devices to shop, bank and share personal details. Suffolk Police are urging people to ensure passwords are regularly changed on all accounts and that these are not duplicated across multiple accounts. Passwords should not be easy to guess, so include a combination of capital and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Further protect yourself by installing and updating your anti-virus software and shop only from official websites that you know and trust.

In the age of social media and emails, many of us post personal information online. Where possible, use secure networks and be careful what information you are sharing, never revealing financial details. Online crime can have a devastating impact to those who fall victim. If you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime, report it to the national policing lead, Action Fraud: www.actionfraud.police.uk.

  • Make your phone work smarter

Mobile phones and tablets are a very tempting target for thieves. Not only are they more valuable in themselves, but many will also contain valuable data, from music downloads and photographs taken, to other personal information saved on social media, emails and banking activity. 

Having your phone or tablet stolen can have immediate consequences, so ensure you always use a security lock PIN code or biometric authentication and download a tracking ‘app’ that can locate a lost or stolen device using its GPS signal.

Protect your property further by registering them on www.immobolise.com, a free-to-use national database that police can access and compare against items that have been found or recovered from suspected thieves.

Chief Inspector Jo Garrard, Head of Community Safety for Suffolk Police, said: "It’s important to remember that burglars don’t have an "off-season” and we can all take positive steps to make ourselves and communities safer. Security measures are just the start, though; I would urge people to be more vigilant in what’s happening around them and in reporting suspicious activity to us. We rely on information from the public to help us keep our communities save, so if it doesn’t feel right, we want to hear from you.”

Help us keep our communities safe by reporting any suspicious activity. 

Please use the following link to pass useful information to Suffolk Police about any incident.

https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/report-crime

To report information anonymously on any crime, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

3 Jan 17
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