There are some basic precautions you can take to keep you and your possessions safe when in your home.

» Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even if you're in the garden, and make sure you have approved locks or bolts on all doors and windows

» Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like in a plant pot or letterbox - a thief knows all the hiding places

» Keep all keys, purses and wallets out of sight and away from the letterbox

» Consider installing a burglar alarm, and only use a company that is registered or certified with the NSI or the SSIAB

» Do not open the door to anyone you don't know or are not expecting.  Always check by using a spy-hole or look through a window

» Make sure that you have up to date contents insurance

» Register all serial numbers from electrical items, tools and garden equipment with (the free national property register). Mark items without serial numbers with an artificial DNA property marker such as Smartwater or SelectaDNA

» Do not keep large amounts of cash at home - it is much safer in a bank or building society

» Trim back any plants and hedges at the front of your property to no higher than 1 metre to remove hiding places

» Always report any suspicious activity, note any vehicle registrations, descriptions of persons involved and direction of travel

» Use a timer to set lights to mimic your usual activity when you are not at home

» Take photographs of all jewellery including hallmarks and keep them safe. Also consider using an artificial DNA property marker on jewellery or other valuable items

» Make sure any bolts are low enough so they cannot be opened by reaching over the top of the gate.

If you have any information about offenders or see something suspicious, call us on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency dial 999.

Cold Callers

Most people that call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes, people turn up unannounced, with the intention of distracting you and tricking their way into your home to steal money or valuables.

These types of people are often referred to as 'distraction burglars', 'bogus callers' or 'cold callers'.

An official visitor will always arrange an appointment with you before. Our advice will always be to not open the door to anyone you don't know or are not expecting. Always check by using a spy-hole or look through a window.

Rogue Traders

Rogue traders may knock on your door and pretend to be legitimate builders or gardeners. They will try and convince you into having work carried out that you do not need doing and may also charge you extortionate amounts of money.

You should never agree to have work carried out by someone who is just passing, or believe them that the work needs to be done at all.

If you have agreed for work to be carried out do not let them pressure you into paying for the work until it is complete.

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch is all about having an active partnership with the police. Neighbourhood Watch schemes can:

» Cut crime and the opportunities for crime

» Help and reassure those who live in fear of crime

» Encourage closer communities

» Provide a better place to live, work and play

Starting or joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme is simple. Find out more here.

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