Scams and how to avoid them

Protect Your Property

Websitre promo 420x215

Burglars mess with your head...

Not just your home. Don't let them in. Police in the south east have joined forces in a joint burglary campaign. Keep up-to-date online with action taken and to find out when you are most at risk #LightLockList

PROTECTING YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY. KEEP IT SAFE, KEEP IT LOCKED.

 

Given the opportunity, thieves will target homes and gardens for valuable items, tools and money which they can sell on or use in other crimes. A shed can be broken into to obtain items that can break into your home, so it is just as important to protect your shed.

 

Neighbourhood Watch works with Kent Police to issue crime prevention advice and encourage residents to keep a watchful eye out in their neighbourhoods to deter and report any suspicious activity.

 

Don’t make your home an easy target for burglars.

 

Many burglaries are crimes of opportunity. A burglar only needs to spot an open window, unlocked side gate or signs the property is unoccupied to make their move.

Think about it – if you know your property looks unsecure so does the opportunist burglar.

 

HERE’S A LIST OF TIPS.

  • I’ve checked all the doors and windows are locked even if I am only popping out for a minute.
  • I’ve fitted deadlocks to all outside doors. (burglars hate them as you need a key to open them from the inside and outside.)
  • I’ve made sure that neither my house keys nor my car keys are in sight or easy reach of my windows or doors. (Consider fitting letter box and window jammers)
  • I’ve fitted key-operated locks to all the windows. (Burglars don’t like having to break glass because of the noise it makes and the risk of leaving forensic evidence.)
  • I’ve installed a visible burglar alarm and I turn it on whenever I leave the house.
  • I haven’t hidden my spare keys outside, or in the garage or shed.
  • I leave the lights and the radio on a timer when I am out, so that it looks like I am in. (you can buy 24 hour timers on this web site www.maidstonenhw.co.uk or any DIY outlet.) If it is dark I also draw the curtains or close the blinds.
  • I’ve made sure thieves can’t get into the garden- there’s a good fence surrounding the house and the side gate is secured. The garden shed is always locked. Think about growing thorny shrubs as security planting, your local garden centre can advise.
  • I haven’t left ladders or tools outside, which someone could use to enter the house.
  • I’ve made sure that valuables like laptops can’t be seen from the window.
  • I haven’t left any cash lying around or any documents with my name, address, or other personal details such as passwords, bank statements, details of loans etc that can be used in identity theft.
  • If I am going on holiday, I’ve arranged for a friend or trusted neighbour to collect the post and put the bins out.
  • Think about the packaging that you leave by the bin. Never leave wrapping and boxes which contained televisions, children's bikes, and other expensive items by the bin in full view of the road. This is just inviting rich pickings to a criminal.
  • Visible burglar alarms and good outside lighting can deter burglars but make sure any security lights are positioned out of reach of a burglar or fit a Guard Cam which records anyone entering your premises on an SD card and includes security lighting. If this is tampered with you will have a good image of the intruder saved on the card. (More information can be obtained on this web site www.maidstonenhw.co.uk/products)

 

EXTRA PRECAUTIONS FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE

 

Older people may feel more vulnerable to some crimes, but they are less likely to become victims. However a few simple steps can help increase their safety.

 

  • Large amounts of cash should not be kept at home.
  • Refer to the section on Cold Calling and for advice on bogus callers.
  • There is a product on the market that incorporates a spy hole with a recording, reminding the householder what steps to follow when answering the door. There is also a spy hole that is fitted with a camera that can take an image of the caller.
  • Kent County Council Wardens and the Kent Fire and Rescue Service give free security advice and can provide, free of charge, some security products that are aimed at older or more vulnerable people. www.kent.gov.uk
  • A personal alarm is essential for a vulnerable person or a couple in the event of taking ill or having a fall.
  • Brighter Futures, part of Voluntary Action Maidstone (VAM), offer falls prevention classes to the over 65’s over 55 iwith a long termhealth condition. The classes are designed to improve strength, balance confidence and a place to make friends. They also offer many other services such as shopping and day trips, transport and a befriending service and run Maidstone Older Persons Forum. www.vam-online.org.uk    E mail brighterfutures@vam-online.org.uk           Telephone 01622 762 403

 

COMPUTERS; Must do’s

  • Keep them hidden, if you carry a laptop around with you, don’t draw attention to it. Put it in the centre of a rucksack well zipped up rather than a computer case.
  • Make sure your private information stays private, keep Pin’s, passwords, and personal information safe. Don’t store your bank details unsecured on a computer.
  • Back up all your work regularly and always keep storage devices separate from your computer. If you are ordering goods over the net make sure the company has a secure server. If a site is secure, you will see ‘https’ in your address bar or a padlock symbol in your browser.
  • There are devices on the market that can ‘track your lap top. They can easily be fitted to the inside of your computer and using GPS can send a signal back to your mobile phone or other device.Look at our web site products section.
  •   Their is an excellent web site for more information on protecting your computer, protecting yourself, smart phones & tablets, shopping, banking & payments and safeguarding children on line. www.getsafeonline.org. Another web site www.cyberstreetwise.com offers a range of interactive resources and clear advice on the essentials for enjoying a safe experience online.
  • Use strong  memorable passwords
  • Install anti-virus software on new devices
  • Check privacy settings on social media
  • Download software and application patches when prompted

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.

There are a number of ways of marking your laptop and other valuables such as using an ultra violet marker pens. Choose an area such as inside your mobile phone underneath the battery or on other devises anywhere that is not often handled. Marker pens are offered free from Neighbourhood Watches, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and KCC Wardens and police stations.

As well as protecting your computer or lap top Ultra Violet marker pens which are used to put an invisible mark such as house number and post code on your property, can be used on televisions, games consoles and any other entertainment system.

 

Garden equipment, power tools, can be marked with a painted sign, reducing the resale value of the item and making them easier to identify and deterring thieves.

 

Selecta DNA is a harmless forensic marking solution invisible to the naked eye but contain a unique forensic code similar to a finger print. It remains on the marked item, clothes or skin, making it easier to trace stolen goods or offenders back to specific crimes or locations. Neighbourhood Watches can advise on how you can obtain a discount for NhW members.

BikeRegister is the national bicycle registration and identification scheme. It is police approved and is free to register your bicycle on the BikeRegister database.www.BikeRegister.com   

Remember to keep a record of valuable items make, model, and serial numbers and take a photograph of more unusual items and include a ruler to give an idea of size/scale.

 

Register your property on a property database, or better still have a house inventory completed by a local company, e mail help@maidstonenhw.co.uk for details of this service.

 

These simple steps can help the police to identify your property and return it to you, make sure thieves are prosecuted and help insurance claims progress smoothly

 

Remember to keep your valuables safe on your person, robbery is more likely to take place in dark, quiet areas avoid such places. Put items of value in inner zipped compartments of handbags and take care of rucksacks and back pockets.

 

 Be extra careful at tube stations, cash machines, in car parks, getting on and off busses and in crowed areas, especially during rush hour.

 

Pickpockets always ‘work’ in crowded areas and it takes seconds for them to dip into an open handbag or shopping bag. Try to keep your handbag to the front of you, closed and with the fastening next to your body. If you witness any suspicious behaviour report it straight away to shop or security staff.

 

Another free security device available from Neighbourhood Watch, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, any Police station, Maidstone Town Centre Management and KCC Wardens is a purse chain which locks onto your handbag and your purse preventing it from being lifted from your handbag.  

 

If a crime is taking place or a life is threatened phone 999

 In a non emergency ring 101

 

 

 

PROTECT YOUR GARDEN, OUTBUILDINGS AND SHEDS.

 

Most of this we have already covered and a great deal of it is common sense.

Garden sheds outbuildings and garages packed with tools; machinery and other valuable equipment are Aladdin’s caves to thieves.

Some tips that you may not have thought of:

 

  • Store bins and ladders carefully so they can’t be used as climbing aids
  • Store tools and equipment somewhere secure after use so they don’t get stolen or used to break into your home.
  • Consider having lockable steel boxes fitted to the floor to store your tolls or anchor posts fitted to the floor to store larger tools and equipment.
  • Fit good quality locks to garages, sheds and outbuildings.
  • Disable ride on lawnmowers and other large machinery.
  • Record make, model, serial numbers and any distinguishing marks of tools and machinery.

 

 

 

PROTECT YOUR MOBILE PHONE RECORD YOUR PHONE'S UNIQUE IMEI NUMBER IN CASE IT GETS LOST OR STOLEN.

  • TYPE *#06# INTO YOUR PHONE TO FIND ITS IMEI NUMBER 
  • KEEP THE NUMBER SOMEWHERE SAFE. OR  REGISTER IT ONLINE AT www.immobilise.com
  • SECURITY MARK YOUR PHONE WITH A UV PEN OR FORENSIC MARKING SOLUTION
  • WHEN OUT. STORE VALUABLES SECURELY IN A ZIPPED POCKET OR BAG
  • DON'T LEAVE VALUABLE ITEMS UNATTENDED OR ON DISPLAY.