Crime Prevention Advice

22 Feb 2008

Dear All,

In the spirit of the newly created web site for our Estate may I offer some friendly advice on Crime Prevention for your property through this web site.

There will be some residents who do not know me, so I will start by explaining that for 31/2 years I had the privilege and pleasure of serving Cheadle Hulme village as the Village Police Officer and which incorporated the Ramilles Estate, where I also live.

My position came about as a result of an individual from Adswood burgling 35 houses for certain types of property in the space of 4 months. Shortly after I arrived,as a result of an operation involving area officers and myself, he was arrested and dealt with by the Crown Court. During my time on the Estate I was regularly wandering about seeing potential problems where property could be stolen and gave regular advice.Although those days are sadly over, you as householders can go a long way to reducing the reasons why crimes occur.

In that vein, I'd like to offer some simple advice whereby your property can be better protected.

The first thing is to remember is that a Thief is basically a lazy person. That's why he is a Thief. He wants you to be lazy too, so that he can help himself to YOUR hard earned property.

So what can we do to try to prevent them stealing?

House Alarms and Security Lights

These are invaluable. Why? Simply put, a thief does not want to be seen or heard, so light him up and make a sound, he wont like it and move to the house without them.

Dont forget, if you have an Alarm tell your neighbour who holds the key and give them a give them a contact number if you are away, as there is nothing worse that an alarm constantly going off. By Law, they have to switch off after 20 minutes now.

Small/high value electrical items

TVs, DVDs, computers, games consoles, cameas, mobile phones and all electrical equipment should be post coded by means of a magic marker pen. These are available from shops like Maplin and W.H.Smiths and cost under £5. This code will show up under ultra violet light if found by the Police should it have been stolen and recovered. So if the worst did happen, investing a few pounds could make the difference between your property being returned to you or not.

Also put a small mark somewhere on each item which would distinguish it as yours and yours only. A small scratch would suffice, known only to you.

Jewellery and all valuable items

Take photographs of each item.This will also help in Insurance claims should they be neccessary. Make sure anything particularly valuable is listed on your Insurance policy.

Motor cars on driveways

They cost a lot of pennies, maybe your own or a companies. Either way, they still contain YOUR property.

Do not leave items on open view, especially overnight. You would be amazed at how many people go through our Estate during the hours of darkness, some who just look into cars and some who try every door handle just in case YOU forgot to lock it. It might be that the property is of no real value, but it will inconvience you in some way if it walks.

Garages and sheds

It always intrigued me walking about, how many garage doors are left open during both day and night for all to see inside. They contain huge amounts of equipment which cost equally huge amounts of cash to buy and replace but people seem to think it won't go 'walkabout'. It does and will continue to as long as garages and sheds are not better secured. You can buy an alarm for your shed/garage for about £15 from stores like Maplin. For the best deals, do an internet search on "shed alarm".

If you have been a victim and ever thought "why did they steal my lawnmower, hedgetrimmers etc", the reason is simple; Car boot sales and Loot. It cost nothing to steal but if they get a fiver it's a profit.

Don't become a target

Throughout the year, new property is bought either as a present or to replace old or worn items and they all come with packaging.

Having unwrapped that new gift or item, what do you do with the packaging? Leave it by the bin. You might as well put up a sign NEW STUFF come and STEAL IT. With the new clear bin bags, even putting it in the bin will not help.

Remember the thief is wandering around, he might not see anything to steal right away but he will be making a note of any packing thrown out.
Rip it up into small pieces, put it in the bin or take it to the tip as soon as possible. It takes away the 'intel' he's looking for.

The same applies to your personal information such as bank statements and bills. Rip them up or even better, get a cross-cut shredder and use it before throwing any items containing personal information out.

Open windows and doors

We've all left windows and doors open in Spring and Summer but remember that they are an open invitation to some miscreant to try to sneak in whilst you watch the TV or listen to your Ipod with the headphones on. In the garden in Summer on your own, lock your back door if it's out of sight.

If seen and challenged, theives will make any excuse....LET THEM GO... DO NOT have a go. Remember their description, write it down so it is fresh in your mind for future reference. If you have a camera phone try a snap shot. Even a back view may be evidence.

Common Sense

A common sense look at your own security may prevent your hard earned property being pinched by some little toe rag who has taken advantage of your lazyness.

Finally, please remember the average house burglary takes three to five minutes to commit from entry to leaving. The thief knows what he wants to steal because he will only steal items his 'handler' of stolen goods can take from him. People often ask "why didnt he take this or that". He does not have a market for those items and if he's doing 5-8 burglaries a day, no room either! He also knows the likely places that you place or hide items of value, so change your places.

If you find this information useful and you act on it in any way then it has been worthwhile contributing to the web site.

Best Wishes.....
Keith DEAN  GMP (ret'd)
Visitor 1 since 06 Jul 22.
Updated: 13 Feb 2012