Assuming you’re reading this at any time after half four in the afternoon, it’s probably getting dark outside. You may be reading sat up in the Arctic Circle, in which case it’s probably dark all the time, but either way, let’s say night is a-falling.
Here in West Midlands Police, the end of British Summertime is as big an event for us as the Winter Solstice is to Pagans.
We don’t exactly break out the flaming torches and dance around stone circles but even so, we do out best to prepare our public for the rise in burglaries that can be encouraged by the darker nights.
It’s because of these dark nights that each year we run our cunningly-named ‘Darker Nights’ campaign, with the aim of informing people about the steps that we recommend to help them beat the burglar.
By checking out the Darker Nights section of our own website, you can find all the information you should need to help ensure that your home is as burglar proof as it can be.
The tips offered don’t involve setting complicated, Home Alone style traps – rather they’re simple, easy pointers such as leaving a light on when you go out, all of which make it more likely that the burglar will pass your house by when he (or she) is out on the prowl for easy targets.
The Darker Nights campaign isn’t only about burglaries though, you can also find information about dealing with trick-or-treaters and if you fancy printing off a poster or two advising would be ghouls that you’d rather not have a visit, have a look at our Darker Nights gallery on Flickr.
The good people behind the Darker Nights campaign have summarised their advice in five easy steps to which I have added a handy ‘CRIME’ acronym*.
They are as follows -
- Close your curtains – Don’t advertise your possessions to the burglars, close your curtains and don’t leave laptops, phones etc on open display
- Register your valuables – Keep a list of the serial numbers of all your valuables – take a look at www.immobilise.com where you can register items for free
- Illuminate your house – You know how in Home Alone, Kevin put the cardboard cut out of the basketball player on a model train so it looked like the house was occupied? Maybe that’s going a little far but leave a light on when you’re out so that it’s not obvious your pad is unattended – consider a timer switch too
- Make your house secure – Lock your doors and your windows, no matter how small they are
- Enable your alarm – Got a burglar alarm? Make sure you know how it works and that it’s used, if you don’t have one then consider getting one or at the very least, installing a dummy alarm box somewhere visible
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, for may have seen previous posts about crime prevention and what steps, as a front line officer, I’d recommend you consider taking to avoid becoming a victim.
It’s been a while since some of them were published so if you have a few minutes to spare, please take a butchers at the following crime prevention related posts -
- Part one and part two of my anti-burglary posts from July last year
- From April this year, a post about CCTV cameras
- Going back to July last year again, this post about registering your valuables
- This post about cold callers and why it’s important that you phone us if you’re suspicious
- And from this September, a post about backing up your computer to ensure your files aren’t lost should it be stolen
Finally, with Autumn soon to exchange the ‘seasons baton’ with Winter, temperatures will drop and Jack Frost will begin icing up up everything in sight.
As this is the case, please check out this blog from last Winter about why I’d recommend not leaving your cat unattended to defrost.
Yes, I do mean cat.
* Thanks to the dozens of people on Twitter and Facebook who helped me out with the final letter for the CRIME acronym, you are incredible and can all consider yourselves special deputies!