Surrey Police – Crime Prevention

Please take a few minutes to read advice provided by Neil Clarke, who works as part of the Surrey Police Community Safety Team: 

During the winter months there tends to be an increase in reports of burglaries of domestic dwellings and thefts from garages, outbuildings and from motor vehicles.

In my work, I am asked to visit people who have been victims of a burglary.  It is sad to report that in many cases homes remain regrettably insecure.  One in three burglars do not have to force their way in – they have gained easy access through an insecure door or open window.

In most, if not all, cases we find that access has been gained at the rear of a property at ground floor level and this is often because access to the rear is not restricted by locked gates or fencing.  Any gates should ideally have bolts fitted at waist height to prevent someone reaching over and opening the gate easily.

Whilst it is impossible to prevent this type of crime from happening in every situation, there is so much that householders can do to make their property a less attractive target to burglars.

Burglars prefer to “work” unobserved, so having a clear line of sight from the roadside to a property makes it less attractive than a home where there are high fences or hedges, where a would-be burglar will not be readily seen.

Having some effective, low-level, exterior lighting can also provide a deterrent effect, as it removes areas of shadow which are so popular with burglars.  Dusk-till-dawn exterior lighting can be very attractive and cost-effective, as it generally uses low wattage bulbs and it also removes the need for people to switch exterior lights on and off.

If your home is going to be unoccupied at any time after dusk, the use of some simple timers to bring on lights in a staggered pattern can convey the impression that there is someone at home.  This has been shown to be an effective deterrent, as burglars never want to meet their victims and only rarely target a property where it appears that anyone is there.

Also, I would emphasise (as I have done in the past) that any residents of Mole Valley can request a free home and property security survey.  All you have to do to contact me is call 01483 630809 or call 101 and ask to be put through to me on extension 30809.  You can also send an email  and I will get your message to call you back to arrange an appointment.

I will always focus on practical advice that is sensible and relevant to each individual’s situation.  I do not promote any specific products or companies and can often suggest relatively simple ways that people can use to make their homes less attractive to a would-be burglar.