Crime, according to our great leaders, is on the decline. Now call me cynical, but I firmly believe that statistics are being manipulated in such a way that they can be used as an excuse to reduce the size of our police forces.
Even if crime was reducing, (it isn’t), those figures are of little comfort to the poor people who have actually been victims of it. The effects of crime can affect a victim for the rest of their lives.
Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, I think, is the way most of us live our lives. I was certainly guilty of it until a good friend of mine was burgled last year. Since then, I have secured my property and made my garden a safer place in which my children can play.
Here are my top suggestions that, if everyone adopted themselves, will make life harder for those who are up to no good.
Locks are the first line of defense against intruders. Insurance companies recommend that five lever mortice locks are fitted wherever possible. It is a simple job to replace older locks as they are often a standard size; it is only the internal mechanism that is different.
Opening windows should have locks fitted to them, but everyone in the family must be made aware of their operation and the locations of the keys, in case of emergency.
Secure the garden to deter thieves and make it a safer place for your kids to play. The garden gate should be tall, robust, and fastened with at least two strong bolts and a padlock. The same rules apply to fencing. It should be tall and in good condition. Smartwood fencing is a better alternative to timber fencing as it is strong and will last a lifetime.
Install a security light on the back of your house that will illuminate the garden if it detects a body moving. These are extremely cheap nowadays, and there isn’t an excuse for not having one. If you can connect a cable to it in the same way you would a three pin plug, the other end of the cable can be passed through a hole in the wall and plugged in inside the house. There is no need to call an electrician if you know how to wire a plug.
Make sure the shed door is in good condition and reinforce it from the inside if necessary. Instead of using a padlock, fit a mortice lock as mentioned above. Board the window up too as most people don’t need sunlight in the shed if they have a light installed. If a burglar has to make a noise in order to gain access to your shed, they will undoubtedly move to an easier target.
It is easy to alarm the house yourself these days thanks to the new wireless kits that are available for a reasonable price in all DIY shops. In just one hour, your home can be secured.
CCTV kits are available for your property that have several cameras and a hard disc recorder that can record for weeks at a time before it needs to overwrite existing recordings. The cost of these systems is very low considering the technology involved. They are easy to install too, as they have wireless functionality.
If you follow the above advice, you will be able to sleep easier. There is no cure to the problem; we can only take sensible precautions.