Reducing the risk
It's important to be aware of what apparatus might help burglars to access your property so you can take precautions against theft.
- High fences, trees or bushes at the front of the property
... Burglars can break in while remaining hidden from view.
- Low fences, trees or bushes at the rear of the property
... These provide easy access to your property.
- Accessible wheelie bins
... These are used to climb on and access hard-to-reach ledges and windows.
- No visible intruder alarm
... The burglar will have no fear of the public being alerted.
- No security lighting
... The burglar will be able to hide in the shadows.
- Valuables on display
... It’s easy for the burglar to see what’s on offer and to grab them and make a quick getaway.
- Open or unsecured windows
... Access is quick and easy with no noise.
- Unlocked sheds
... Provide easy access to bikes and machinery and if that’s open, what else is?
Precautions to take
There are certain things you can do straight away to minimise the risk of being burgled and reduce the impacts of a break-in.
- Get contents insurance.
- Lock your doors and windows - half of all break-ins happen because people leave doors and windows unlocked.
- Use UV pens to mark your possessions with your full name and student number.
- Keep a map of the area or campus nearby. Know your way around and keep safe.
- Get a personal alarm.
- Have a public service transport timetable so you know you can get home safely.
- Don't carry much cash.
- List, photograph and record your valuable items.
- Know who to call. Know your family and friends’ numbers and your phone provider.
Securing your stuff
Laptops – If you don't need it, then leave it behind somewhere safe and secure. If you do need your laptop then place it in a rucksack so it’s not visible. Do not leave it on show and never leave it unattended.
Mobile phones – Make sure your phone is registered and you have a record of your numbers and your IMEI. As soon as you know it’s missing, register the loss and cancel your SIM. Never leave your phone unattended.
Bicycles – Always lock your bike, preferably in a bike rack using a sturdy D-lock and remove all accessories, including lights. Always take advantage of bike marking days and get your bike marked and registered. Look out for the next free bike marking day at the university.
Cars – Most cars today are stolen following a burglary as keys are often left on display. Other thefts happen because the car is left unlocked. When paying for petrol or picking up your takeaway meal never leave the keys in the ignition. Park in a well-lit area and do not to leave anything of value on display.
Before going out
There are things you can do before you go out to ensure a safer night.
- Keep a light on in the house if it will be empty.
- Know where you are going, arrange to go with mates, know how you are getting back and avoid short cuts.
- Take your personal alarm and have it to hand when walking back.
- Take a cheap phone and wallet/purse with you when you go out – they will be less attractive to a potential thief.
- Lock windows and doors and hide all valuables from sight.
- Make sure someone always knows where you are going.