We are well aware at Kenilworth Watch that because we send out crime alerts people’s fear of crime may rise as a result. Let’s be clear; it’s not our intention to raise the fear of crime and make people feel anxious or frightened. We want people to know what is going on in their neighbourhood and to understand what they can do to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
2018 -2019 Burglary Increase
It’s clear from the UK Crime Stats that over the winter months between 2018 and 2019 criminals committing burglary, including car key burglaries, increased their activities in Warwickshire. Between July 2018 and July 2019 burglary in Warwickshire overall rose by 9.8%, so it’s vital that both the police and public focus respectively on what they can do to deter burglars. These figures made Warwickshire the fourth highest county for burglary in that period. In Warwick District Council area specifically, the increase in burglary was 22% while neighbouring Stratford upon Avon District saw a 50% increase with 95 burglaries taking place in that period.
Burglaries Now Decreasing
Since April 2019, up until the end of July 2019, Warwickshire burglaries had reduced by 16%, partly because some of those involved in the crimes have been detected by the police and prosecuted, sentenced and imprisoned.
Warwickshire Police are currently employing more police officers, that are now starting to come through onto the streets. While this is most welcome and will help, we, as individuals and a community cannot be complacent. We will always have an important part to play too.
Burglaries, though fewer, are still taking place and some are ‘Car Key Burglaries’ where offenders break into a home to get the keys to a motor vehicle and steal it.
Our previous messages about leaving valuables in motor vehicles also still seem to be falling on deaf ears with some in the community. We have seen several incidents recently where valuables left in motor vehicles have led to offenders breaking into the vehicle.
We appeal to everyone NOT to leave items on show in motor vehicles even on your own driveway, it suggests to a criminal its worth breaking into the vehicle.
How you can protect your home and property
So what are the things that you can do to help prevent burglars deciding that you and your home are their next target? Here’s our advice:
GENERAL BURGLARY ADVICE
- Make sure you keep your doors locked, even when you are at home but maybe outside in the garden or at the other end of the property.
- If you have the popular UPVC type of sealed glazed door and/or patio doors, then they will usually be fitted with ordinary locks that can be ‘punched’ with offenders typically getting into a property in less than ten seconds. Consider getting your locks changed to the “Anti Snap” type by upgrading the locks to your home to TS007 (3 stars) or Sold Secure Diamond Standard (SS312).
- Fit a monitored and visible burglar alarm; they are a visible deterrent and form part of an overall approach you should take to protecting your home. Monitored alarms typically cost from around £30 a month, that’s a pound a day for some peace of mind.
- Install and maintain good outside lighting
- Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
- Leave radios and lights on using a timer to help make the property appear occupied
- Make sure your boundary fences/hedges and gates are in good order and secure. Keep all rear and side gates/entrances locked AT ALL TIMES.
- Don’t leave ladders, tools or steps outside – you are providing help to those that might want to break into your home!
- Secure any bikes by locking them to an immovable object inside your garage or shed.
- Remove valuables from view and store them securely.
- Mark your property with postcode and the house number and register your property for free at the police approved ‘Immobilise’ scheme (www.immobilise.com)
You can get advice on “Ultion Anti Snap” locks from Eyden Locksmiths (www.eydens.co.uk) in Coventry who also provide a fitting service. Their telephone number is: 02476 332524. Other locksmiths and organisations provide these products too.
CAR KEY BURGLARY ADVICE
- If you have the popular UPVC type of sealed glazed door and/or patio doors, then they will usually be fitted with ordinary locks that can be ‘punched’ with offenders getting into the property in less than ten seconds. Consider getting your locks changed to the “Anti Snap” type by upgrading the locks to your home to TS007 (3 stars) or Sold Secure Diamond Standard (SS312).
- Use a visible steering lock, such as Disclock or Krooklok, – offenders can see these before they attempt to steal the vehicle and it puts them off because they have to get them off and that’s not easy.
- Always lock your car and make sure doors, windows, the boot and sunroof are secure whenever you leave your vehicle.
- Use your garage – if you have a garage or outbuilding, please use it and lock your car away when not in use.
- If you don’t have a garage, consider fitting sturdy and lockable gates or a security post to your driveway.
- If you’re parking on your driveway, park defensively, i.e. as close to your property or another vehicle as you can so that access is made difficult.
- Fit outside security lighting to the front and back of your home and install a visible burglar alarm – ensure the lights are always in working order and always set your alarm at night.
- Don’t leave your car keys on view or placed near windows, doors or cat-flaps where thieves can see them; criminals can easily take keys from kitchen worktops, tables and hooks on walls and exploit keyless entry cars.
- If you have a ‘keyless entry’ car, then make sure your keys are kept well away from doors and windows.
- Keep your car key in a screened box/tin/bag so that the signal can’t be ‘grabbed’ from the outside and used to open your car – and don’t forget – Do the same with any spare set!
- Signal Blocking pouches can stop access to your vehicle by blocking your car key fob from transmitting its code to the vehicle, as the pouches are lined with layers of metallic material. (Signal Blocking pouches are also known as Faraday Bags or Pouches).
- Putting your keys in a signal-blocking pouch will stop any thieves from being able to amplify the signal used in relay theft.
- Do you have a keyless fob? Wireless signals on some keyless fobs can be switched off. To turn off, you should look in your cars manual to see if you can do this. If you can’t find anything in your manual about turning off your fob, you should contact the vehicle’s manufacturer.
If you want more help and advice about crime prevention, then please contact Kenilworth’s Safer Neighbourhood Team by telephone on 01926 684404 or by email at: Kenilworth.firstname.lastname@example.org