Neighbourhood / Rural Watch

Neighbourhood / Rural Watch -Tips & Advice:

Good Morning Rural Watchers,

With the lighter evenings and better weather ( hopefully ! ) just around the corner I thought I would issue a timely reminder that doors and windows left open give burglars and thieves ample opportunity to commit crime.

By following a few simple steps listed below you can drastically reduce your chances of becoming a victim.


Burglaries are often committed by opportunist thieves. This section gives a range of measures that can be put in place to prevent a burglary but once in place they must be adopted at all times. You may think you are secure, however, it’s possible to get into a routine and not realise the opportunity you are presenting to a thief.

These are some of the common errors:

  • leaving doors open when working in the garden
  • leaving doors unlocked when watching television
  • leaving windows open in areas that are accessible to a thief, such as a flat roof or rear window next to garden furniture that can be used as a climbing aid
  • not locking up last thing at night assuming that someone in the house has already done it
  • in hot weather leaving downstairs windows or doors open.
  • just popping to neighbours and leaving the door unlockedMost victims of burglary are concerned that they have been specifically targeted or watched for a period of time prior to their burglary, to determine what their movements are. However, most burglaries are opportunistic.
  • Burglars choose houses that:
  • How to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of burglary
  • have little or no obvious security
  • appear unoccupied
  • have easy, unobserved access to the side and rear
  • provide them with the chance to gain entry without being seen or heardGarages and shedsGarages and sheds also have lawnmowers, bikes and other valuables that are easy to steal and costly to replace. By fitting additional security to garages and sheds, burglars will find it more difficult to break in and they will have to make more noise doing so. A few simple security measures can increase the visual deterrent and reduce the likelihood of garages and sheds being targeted.
  • Garages and Sheds are often the first places a burglar will target
  • Garages and sheds are vulnerable to burglary, as they are generally quite flimsy structures, but they should not be forgotten. They are often the first places that a burglar will target, because they provide a ready source of tools and implements for breaking into the main house.
  • So it is possible to dramatically reduce burglaries by taking simple security measures to deter burglars and remove some of the opportunities that present themselves as easy targets.
  • metal up-and-over garage doors can be secured with additional purpose made locks fitted to either side, approximately 300mm up from the floor, to reduce the leverage points
  • an external floor mounted, solid steel locking ‘T’ bar with a closed shackle padlock, will offer a good visual deterrent and make it difficult to force the door open
  • wooden garage double doors can be secured with two substantial hasps and staples and closed shackle padlocks, one towards the top and one towards the bottom.
  • garage side or rear doors can be secured with British Standard 5-lever mortice locks and two internal mortice rack bolts, one towards the top and one towards the bottom to reduce the leverage points
  • shed doors can be secured with two substantial hasps and staples and two closed shackle padlocks on the outside, one towards the top and one towards the bottom. External hinge screws should be replaced with one-way clutch head screws to prevent them being removed and access gained this way
  • garage and shed windows can be secured with internal diamond mesh grilles, which provide a good visual deterrent to opportunistic burglaries
  • garden tools and ladders should be secured by wrapping a substantial chain around them and padlocking them to an eyebolt which has been secured to the floor or wall. This will prevent them being stolen or used to break into the house
  • tools and garden implements should be visibly property marked with the postcode and house name or number, to deter theft and assist police with identifying the rightful owner.Securing valuablesHow to protect valuables and sentimental items•property marking and photographing valuables and sentimental items will help to deter burglars and assist the police to return them to their rightful owners if they are stolenInstall a safe It’s important to leave lights on if you are not returning until late afternoon or early evening, particularly during the autumn and winter months. Timing switches linked to the lights, normally two downstairs and one upstairs, and a radio tuned to a talk station, will give the impression that the house is occupied.Mark your property Photographs of stolen objects greatly improve the chances of recovery. Concentrate on what makes this object unique or identifiable. Indicate the object’s size and dimensions by placing a ruler next to small items or writing down the measurements. Try to use a plain dark background and avoid patterned wallpaper or carpet.Kind Regards,Martin SanfordWellesbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team
  • Stratford on Avon Police Station
  • Police Community Support Officer 6060
  • Martin
  • Take photographs
  • Property mark valuables with the postcode and house name or number to assist with identification. This can be done with an ultra violet pen or with a specialist marking kit such as a purpose made stencil with etching liquid, a unique chemical trace liquid or microdot system.
  • Leave the lights on
  • Burglars very rarely come equipped to deal with safes that are fitted to solid floors and/or solid walls with the correct fixings. A safe will reduce the likelihood of important documents, valuables and sentimental items being stolen if the household is burgled.
  • •timing switches linked to the lights and a radio will give the impression that a property is occupied
  • •a safe which has been securely fixed to a solid wall and/or floor reduces the likelihood of important documents, valuables and sentimental items being stolen

Tel 01789 4446000