I always think this time of year is a good time to think ahead and plan for things that you may need to do later in the year and get them done now rather than rush later, or not do them at all.
I mention this in relation to crime prevention and planning for keeping your home and possessions safe.
This month has already seen Nepali New Year, where many families will have travelled to be together, leaving their homes and taking with them special jewellery.
In the coming months ahead, there are only a couple of festivals in the Nepali calendar, however, autumn will come around quickly and the main festival period will be upon the community again.
It is not just festivals that make us think about crime prevention; the early summer period of holidays are around the corner and for those families with children, or who simply want to enjoy the warmer weather in the UK, the summer is quite close now, so this is another period where people go away.
Criminals will know the times of year when people go away and this provides them with an opportunity to look for homes where there are no obvious signs of someone at home.
I have written before about crime prevention and also been involved in many presentations to the Nepali community, so I won`t go into too much detail on the things you can do to make your home and possessions more secure, but if you do need to consider making a few changes to your home, or getting some simple and low cost items to help with crime prevention, then this is the time to do it.
Below re some suggested things from the Hampshire Constabulary website as suggestions, however, for those readers who live outside of Hampshire, you will probably find similar advice from your own police force area.
- Low front boundary; keep hedges and walls at the front of your house low (under one metre) so burglars have nowhere to hide.
- Secure side gate; keep side gates locked at all times. Open gates mean burglars can easily access your home without being seen by passers-by or neighbours.
- High side and rear boundaries with trellis and spiky defensive planting; keep hedges, walls and fences around your back garden high (over 1.8 metres). Add lightweight trellis to gates and fences and plant some prickly plants to make it harder for burglars to climb over.
- Gravel driveway and path; gravel driveways and paths make it harder for burglars to go undetected.
- Security light; install an outside security light so that intruders can’t approach without being seen.
- Intruder alarm system; install a burglar alarm system.
- Secure shed door and window; always keep your shed locked and secured. Often sheds contain valuables such as power tools and bicycles.
- Never leave tools lying around; never leave tools lying around as they can be used as a way of breaking into your home.
* If you’re off on holiday and wish to post anything on social media, make sure your posts aren’t public and that they’re only seen by your friends.
* Leave lights and a radio on a timer to make the property appear occupied.
* Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property or join a Neighbourhood or resident Watch Scheme.
* Consider asking your neighbours to close curtains after dark and to park on your drive.
* Remember to cancel newspaper and milk deliveries.
* Arrange for a friend or neighbour to park their car on your drive.
Make sure that any valuable jewellery is values and insured. Take pictures of your jewellery and consider keeping it with a bank safety deposit box.
Also, keep things hidden when you are away in less obvious places, like a plastic kitchen box or dishwasher tablet bag.
The list is not exhaustive and there are many websites with useful information about crime prevention. It is also a personal matter too, where you can do what makes you feel comfortable and what you can afford or are prepared to spend.
Lastly, I would like to thank those of you who have kindly supported the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice by donating to my fundraising page, where I will have completed the London Marathon when you read this article – hopefully!
PC 1860 Mark Ranola.
Yateley Police Office.