Peace of mind whilst you’re away: Secure your home before you travel!
Everyone needs a holiday, but we want you to come home and find everything as you left it. Almost half of all burglaries happen when a home is left empty. By following the tips set out below you can help to make your home more secure while you are away. Why not tick them off before you go?
-Make sure your home looks occupied. Ideally, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to look after it. Let them have a spare set of keys, but don’t put your name or address on them.
-Don’t leave your curtains closed during the daytime, as this shows the house is empty.
-Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on at dusk.
-Cancel any regular deliveries such as newspapers and milk.
-Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
-Uncollected mail is a sign that you’re away. The Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service will keep your mail for up to two months while you’re away.
-Avoid putting your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination. Put this only on the inside of your cases.
-Make sure that you have up-to-date contents and buildings insurance.
-Keep tools and ladders that can be used to break in locked away.
-If you aren't leaving your car at home, why not ask a neighbour or a friend to park their car on your drive.
-Don't publish your absence on the social media. Status updates, comments and photos can all give away that your home is empty.
-Is there a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme where you live? Visit www.ourwatch.org.uk and enter your postcode to check to see if there are any schemes set up in your area, or alternatively speak with us via our ‘office’ email address.
-Finally, don’t forget to lock all external doors and windows. If you’ve got a burglar alarm, make sure it is set.
-And just before you set off, it’s worth spending a couple minutes checking you’ve done all you had to do and taken everything you need with you. Don’t forget your passport and tickets!
Community Safety Charter
We all want to reduce the fear of harassment, anti-social behaviour and intimidation experienced by anyone who lives, works, studies, or visits anywhere in England and Wales. Neighbourhood Watch has launched the Community Safety Charter aimed to involve a wide range of local organisations, ranging from Councils, charities, businesses to local shops. In this way we can all work towards eliminating such behaviour.
Any organisations can sign up for FREE, including schools, universities, community centres, taxi firms, and public places such as libraries and they will receive a poster confirming their intention to make their locality a better place to live in.
Further information is available at: https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/charter
This is the website of the national body for Neighbourhood Watch in England and Wales. It includes the signing-up procedure. Anyone signing up will receive a downloadable copy of the Charter to sign and display in their premises and/or on their website, plus a range of useful information.
We ask recipients of this message to pass it on to organisations known to them with encouragement for them to sign up. These organisations can also sign up as Neighbourhood Watch Members through the same link.
JOIN NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH!
Neighbourhood Watch is now celebrating its 40th anniversary since it was established in England & Wales. It now has upwards of 2.3 million members across the country.
A Neighbourhood Watch scheme is proven to reduce crimes such as burglaries, vandalism, cons & scams, and car crime. So, if there is no scheme in your building, why not volunteer to be a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator and help to protect your home and community? It might take just a couple of hours per month, but it could make a real difference to you and your neighbours. Lots of information and support are available to Co-ordinators.
Firstly, visit your neighbours to see if they would like to see such a scheme. There can be any number of households involved, schemes are generally run for about 15 – 20 flats in the same building, but sometimes more with the help of additional Co-ordinators.
Then contact Wycombe District Neighbourhood Watch Association to arrange an informal start-up meeting with all interested households to talk through the benefits and responsibilities. There is, of course, an application form to fill in and you should be a suitable person to represent your community, but, once that is done, you are ready to start.
The responsibilities of a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator are to share information and to liaise with the neighbourhood policing teams and residents to improve community safety. Basically, this means:
Distribute (usually by email) the Thames Valley Alert messages – these email bulletins from the police report on crimes, crime threats, forewarn of known scams, and they are an invaluable way of keeping abreast of issues.
Take delivery of and put up Neighbourhood Watch signs in the building – these are great deterrents to opportunist thieves!
Advise households on simple security measures such as property markings, how to deal with cybercrime, car crime, bogus callers, and rogue traders – Neighbourhood Watch has lots of information on all of this.
Encourage neighbours to report any suspicious activity to the police, either by calling 999 if a crime is taking place, or 101 for non-emergency calls.
Discuss any specific concerns you and your neighbours may have, such as anti-social behaviour or a spate of crimes, with the neighbourhood policing teams.
Keep up-to-date records of members and encourage new members to join. Make sure you keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours and ensure they are advised of all relevant information.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org