Burglaries fell significantly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and the country was in lockdown, but now that restrictions on movements are being increasingly lifted and people return to work and school, figures are rising again. Here are a few reminders of simple ways to keep your property safe when you’re out.
There weren’t many upsides to the lockdown period the country experienced earlier this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it did see burglaries fall by 40% year-on-year across England and Wales from late March to mid-May.
The fall perhaps isn’t surprising – after all, many people were in their homes all day, every day so the opportunities for burglary weren’t as frequent. Not only that, but burglars were also subject to the same restrictions as everyone else and, as the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for crime operations, Andy Cooke, said recently, forces used any spare capacity during lockdown to focus on pursuing criminals – so more may have ended up behind bars too.
But sadly, since the lockdown measures started to ease in mid-May and people started venturing out more, the numbers of burglaries has started to increase again across the country. Indeed, Police Data shows that between April and May, burglaries rose by 17.2% in the Peterborough area compared to the previous month.
With many people now returning to working in an office or factory, and children returning to school, it is more than likely that the number of burglaries will continue to increase.
But there are a range of simple measures you can take to ensure that your home doesn’t become one of those crime statistics in the coming months.
Remember the basics
It might sound obvious, but after spending several months spending almost all your time in your home, you need to remember basic security measures before you leave the house. For instance, ensure all doors are locked and that windows are shut and locked. If you have blinds, make sure they’re closed so any would-be thieves can’t have a look at what’s inside your house.
Put your alarm on
If you have an alarm, make sure you set it as you leave. Its an easy habit to get out of and, if you’re rushing out of the house, easy to forget to do. However, it is important to put it on each time you leave the house – if you don’t and the worst happens, it could invalidate your home insurance policy. If you are struggling to remember to do it every time, put a sticky note on the front door to remind you.
Check all security measures are working
You should always regularly check that any security measures you have, such as alarms and spotlights, are working as they should be. But now, when they might not have been used during lockdown, they should be thoroughly checked over to see that they are working as they should be.
Hide valuable possessions
Most burglaries are opportunistic – if thieves see something tempting, they are likely to try and get it. So before you go out, ensure that valuable items such as tablets, laptops and handheld gaming devices are out of sight. Even just putting them in places such as under the sofa or in a cupboard or drawer is fine.
Keep keys out of sight
In a similar vein, car and house keys need to be kept out of sight and away from doors or windows. Burglars have been known to ‘fish’ for keys – sticking a length of wire through the letterbox and hooking keys with it.
Likewise, don’t keep spare keys tied on a length of string hanging from the inside of the letterbox or under a plant pot by the door – burglars know all these hiding places and more.
Some insurance companies won’t pay out if there is no sign of forced entry after a burglary, so it is important to do this.
Don’t make it obvious you’re out
If you are now going out to work again – day or night – then you should make it as difficult as possible for anyone to know that the house is empty. For instance, in the evening, make sure you leave lights on. In the daytime, perhaps leave a radio on in the house. On refuse collection day, always put your bins back where they live before you go to work or, if that’s not possible, ask a neighbour to put them back for you.
Ensure garages and sheds are safe
This is another area of household security that is easily forgotten, but if left unsecured can present easy pickings for a burglar. Sheds should be padlocked – and there are many padlocks out there that give differing levels of security – at all times. Meanwhile garages should always be locked – both doors, if you have two – and padlocked, depending on the sort of lock you have on the door.
Get the professionals in
If you do decide to upgrade your security now by installing an alarm or upgrading your locks – all sound investments – don’t try to do them yourself unless you have experience doing this sort of thing. There are plenty of stories out there of people having DIY disasters and then having to call a professional in to remedy the situation.
If you live in Peterborough or the surrounding area, give Inta-lock Locksmiths a call. Our technicians are vastly experienced in installing all sorts of domestic security devices, from CCTV to upgraded locks. Our prices are competitive with any other locksmith in the area and we pride ourselves on the quality of our work.
While these measures aren’t a 100% guarantee that you won’t suffer a burglary, it should reduce the chances of one happening.
If you want a home security check, call Inta-lock Locksmiths in Peterborough and one of our team will come out to your home at a convenient time for you and give you impartial advice on what additional security measures your home may need. For more information and to book a time, call one of our friendly team on …