Some security advice from West Midlands Police Birmingham South Partnerships:
The chance of becoming a victim of crime in the West Midlands is extremely low; however, there is plenty you can do to reduce your chances even further. The Birmingham South LPU would like to remind residents to follow some burglary safety advice due to the warm weather and the increase in burglaries associated with it. While the number of burglary offences is still low for the LPU, Birmingham South have already started to see a rise in the number of burglaries due to unlocked and insecure windows and doors. It is also important to highlight the rise in the number of vehicle crimes taking place over the last few months. As we know, criminals will take every opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, so please reiterate this message to your neighbours, colleagues and friends.
Doors & Windows – In one out of three burglaries, thieves do not have to use force getting into the property through an open door or window. Make sure doors and windows are kept locked when you go out and close them even when you leave the room. Make sure your side or back gate is shut and locked.
Lights & Alarms – When you go out, leave a light on to give the impression there is someone at home. It may be worth investing in a light timer switch, as they are fairly cheap and can be easily fitted to operate radios and lights when you’re out. If you have an alarm, please don’t forget to use it! It is wise to shut curtains if you’re going out in the evening.
Shed and Gardens – Make sure that sheds and garages are locked and secure. This includes putting away all tools and ladders to stop a burglar from stealing or using them on your own property. Use a good quality pad lock to protect your property. Inexpensive shed alarms can be purchased from most DIY stores.
Car Key Burglary – Sometimes people will try to break into houses to simply steal your car keys. It is important to remember to never leave your car keys in open view of your letterbox or ground floor windows. This is so that car keys cannot be “fished” from a letterbox or a window. At home at night we advise that you DO leave your car keys downstairs. This is just in case a thief is persistent enough to break-in, as it is best they take the keys and go.
Remove it or Lose it – Never leave items on display in a vehicle. These items can include Sat Navs, MP3 players, Laptops, Coats and even loose change. Don’t leave valuables in the glove box, as it’s often the first place that criminals will look. It’s also important to remember to wipe away the suction mark from all Sat Navs, as this is a tell-tale sign that it might still be in your vehicle.
Lock it or Lose it – Never leave your keys in the ignition when leaving your vehicle. It is important to lock your vehicle and activate any alarms.
Don’t Park Dark – Criminals love using the cover of darkness, so try to park in well lit, open areas. Make use of your driveway or garage if you have one. If you’re out, try to find a secure car park, many of which are identified with a ‘Park Mark’ icon. For more information visit: www.parkmark.co.uk
Mark your Property
UV marking pens are available from DIY shops and are an inexpensive way of labelling your property. Simply write your postcode and house number onto your property and if police recover it, we will be able to identify the owner and return it. If you have particularly valuable or unique possessions take photos of them to help officers identify your property. These items, all serial numbers and photos can be registered and uploaded for free on www.immobilise.com
Please be good neighbours and report suspicious activity or anti-social behaviour on 101 for non-emergencies and 999 for emergencies.
You can also get safety advice by contacting your local Neighbourhood Team – Visit http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-local-police/index.aspx and enter your postcode. This will identify the Neighbourhood Team that polices your area.
Follow us on twitter @SthBhamPartners for updates on police activity and partnership events.