Here are a few simple tips to help keep your home secure.
- Use an alarm - most offenders will shy away from trying to enter a house that has an alarm installed. They prefer to be in and away with little or no fuss at all.
- Keep keys hidden - never leave them lying around for anybody to pick them up. Don't leave them on hooks, in window locks, or on a hallway table near a door or letterbox.
- Mark your property - the simplest and cheapest method is to use an ultra-violet pen to write your postcode and house number or the first two letters of the house name.
- Lighting - fit time switches to operate radios and lights when you're out to make it look like you're in.
- Secure your property - make sure your home is secure at all times of the day and night; keep your doors and windows locked.
Burglars sometimes use false pretences to gain entry to your property. These are known as 'bogus callers' or 'distraction burglars'.
- Stop - before you answer, think whether you're expecting anyone. Look through the spy-hole or the window to see who it is.
- Chain - if you decide to open the door, put the door chain or bar on first. Keep them on while you're talking to the person on the doorstep.
- Check - ask for and double check their identity card.
- Remember, if in doubt, keep them out!
- Secure your property with a fence or wall at least 1.8 meters tall and maintain to a good condition. Prickly bushes and dense plants offer an alternative to walls or fences to secure your property.
- Tools - never leave tools lying around the garden or leave your shed unlocked. Keep what tools you are using with you and put them away when you've finished with them.
- Lock external buildings such as sheds and garages using good quality padlocks.
- Site sheds close to the house so that you can see their windows and doors.
- Light the side and rear of your house with lights operated by a dusk to dawn sensor and using low energy bulbs; this is a low cost, energy efficient way of providing security and safety.
- Remember just because it's a garden doesn't mean that it doesn't need protecting.
If you're the victim of a crime, or witness one, please contact South Yorkshire Police. In an emergency, call 999, or 101 in a non emergency.