A lot of burglaries take place on the spur of the moment when a burglar sees an open window or other easy way in. You can take simple steps to avoid this type of opportunistic crime.
In your home:
- Lock all windows and doors before you go out or to bed
- Fit security measures such as intruder alarms, door chains and door locks. A spy hole means you only have to open the door to people you know
- Avoid labelling house keys in case you lose them and they fall into the wrong hands
- Don't leave keys (including car keys) or other valuables near doors or windows.
Around your home:
- Make sure fences, hedges and gates are in good condition as they provide a good defensive barrier.
- Have external security lights fitted but make sure the lights don't affect your neighbours
- Avoid leaving side gates open
- Make sure ladders and garden equipment that could be used to force entry are not left out
- Keep garages and sheds locked and alarmed
- Store bins carefully so that they cannot be used as a climbing aid
- Never hide spare house keys outside or in a shed
- Dispose of packaging carefully as it advertises what you have in your house.
If you are away from home:
- Use timers for lights - this will create the impression someone is home
- Cancel regular deliveries, such as milk and newspapers as when its left outside or in a windowed porch people know you’re away
- Ask a relative or trusted neighbour to pop in and move any post from inside your door
- Offer your neighbours the use of your driveway
- Check your insurance policy - some policies don't provide cover if you are away for more than 30 days
If you are a victim of burglary
As soon as you are aware that you have been the victim of a burglary and/or your property has been stolen:
- Contact your bank or building society immediately to cancel any stolen cards
- Report the incident to the police, either by calling 101 or by contacting your neighbourhood policing team
- Complete a stolen property record form to help list exactly what items have been stolen
- Contact your home contents insurer
- Replace door and window locks as soon as possible
Further information is available on the Kent Police website, including a property record form which you can download.