Summer security warning
Release date: 1 August 2011
Wise up on your security this summer - or risk leaving your home and car open to thieves.
The Safer New Forest Partnership has issued this stark warning in a bid to prevent opportunist thieves striking while local people are out and about.
New Forest police are always on the lookout for suspicious activity - but they need householders to take action to stop burglars from breaking into their property.
New Forest Chief Inspector Lucy Hutson said: "Burglary levels in the New Forest are relatively low, but they increase during the summer months when many homes are left unoccupied for holidays or out for the day. Similarly, by making a few security checks on your car, you can deter thieves from attempting to break in."
It only takes a minute for a thief to strike if you leave your car door or window open while you pop into a shop.
Likewise, remember to close all front doors, windows and side gates if you're out in the back garden.
Simple measures can prevent costly crimes from occurring.
The Safer New Forest Partnership has funded the purchase of shed alarms to be fitted by Police Community Support Officers at homes considered to be more at risk. "Shed alarms are an inexpensive and efficient security measure and are available online or from good retail stores. They are a really good investment and will give peace of mind," said Cllr Jill Cleary, NFDC portfolio holder for housing and communities.
Other security measures recommended by the Safer New Forest Partnership, include:
- Remove any valuable items from parked vehicles, particularly in beauty spots. Bags, purses, coats, CDs, mobiles, laptops and satnavs should not be left in empty cars - even out of sight in the boot or under a seat.
- Don't forget to lock your vehicle securely before leaving it, even if it's just for a minute or your car is parked outside your property.
- Close all windows securely - don't be tempted to leave them open in hot weather.
- Always remove your keys from the car ignition.
- Lock your bikes with a security chain whenever you leave them - at home or out and about. At home, store them in a locked shed or garage - don't leave them on view.
- Make sure you lock your house doors, windows, sheds and garages - even when you are at home and busy in another part of the house or garden.
- Make it difficult for intruders to gain access - lock your side gates to prevent entry to the back garden. Lock away all garden tools and ladders in the shed or garage. Keep hedges and shrubs trimmed to allow neighbours and passers-by to see the house.
- Never leave a spare key concealed anywhere near the front door - burglars know all the hiding places.
- Set your burglar alarm. If you do not have an alarm, consider investing in a good security system. Make sure your belongings are property marked.
- Help deter car thieves by displaying a Hampshire Constabulary notice in your car which states: 'No valuables have been left in this vehicle.' They are available free of charge by contacting Stephanie Bennett at Safer New Forest, New Forest District Council, Appletree Court, Lyndhurst. SO43 7PA. Tel. 023 8028 5588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For further information on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime, download the Family Crime Reduction Guide from the Safer New Forest website www.communitysafety.newforest.gov.uk