Advice on protecting your home
A lot of burglaries take place on the spur of the moment when a burglar sees an open window or other easy way in. You can take simple steps to avoid this type of opportunistic crime.
In your home
· Fit security measures such as intruder alarms, door chains and door locks. A spy hole lets you see who's at your door;
· Avoid labeling house keys in case you lose them and they fall into the wrong hands;
· Don't leave keys (including car keys) or other valuables near doors or windows;
· Close all windows and doors before you go out or to bed.
Around your home
· Make sure fences, hedges and gates are in good condition;
· Install external security lights (but make sure the lights don't affect your neighbours and that alarms turn off after 20 minutes);
· Avoid leaving side gates open and make sure ladders and garden equipment that could be used to force entry are not left out;
· Keep garages and sheds locked and alarmed;
· Store bins carefully so that they cannot be used as a climbing aid;
· Never hide spare house keys outside or in a shed;
· Dispose of packaging carefully - wrapping and boxes you put outside your house on bin day advertises what you have in your house.
If you are away from home
· Use timers for lights and radios - this will create the impression someone is home;
· Cancel regular deliveries, such as milk and newspapers;
· Make sure garden furniture is stored away and that sheds and garden gates are locked;
· Ask a relative or trusted neighbour to pop in and move any post or junk mail from inside your door;
· Arrange for the curtains to be opened and closed;
· Offer your neighbours the use of your driveway;
· Check your insurance policy - some policies don't provide cover if you are away for more than 30 days.
For more information please visit the Kent Police web site http://www.kent.police.uk/advice/advice.html
or speak to your local PCSO or Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator. Maistone Neighbourhood Watch Association can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org