Burglary - Wintertime

Advice on home security in the winter

This section of the website is about burglary and how you can reduce the chance of becoming a victim by following a few simple steps.

On average just 1.5 houses in the Vale are burgled per day. Nevertheless many burglaries could have been prevented by considering these principles:

  • Lock your doors and windows regardless of if you are in the property or not.
    The point of entry in more than 75% of the time is through a door or window.
  • Lock your UPVC doors with the key.
    Flipping the handle is not enough to secure your door.
  • Keep valuable items out of view.
    Leaving a laptop on view is an open invitation for a thief. Even less valuable items can be used to gain entry and is the most common way to force entry.
  • Property mark your valuables with ultra-violet marking kits or Smartwater
    When goods are marked it enables recovered property to be returned and improves the chance of conviction.
  • The security of the rear of the home is integral.
    Many burglaries are carried out via entry of a back door or window so make sure your back doors and windows are locked and invest in some prickly plants for your fence boundaries. If you have a side gate leading to your garden make sure it is locked.
  • Make sure your shed/garage is locked and secure.
    Don't give thieves the tools to enter your home.
  • User timer switches.
    In the winter months when it’s dark and nobody is at home a timer switch can be set to activate a lamp on the landing or hallway giving the impression that someone is at home. Timer switches are also ideal for when you’re on holiday. You can buy these for under £3 from hardware stores.

Additional security advice for outbuildings and your garden

  • Replace ordinary screws on outbuilding doors with non-return screws or coach bolts (the latter have smooth heads that cannot be undone with a screwdriver or spanner).
  • Secure up-and-over garage doors with padlocks through the inside runners, or fit a padlock (with hasp and staple) on either side of the door.
  • Add a mortise deadlock to existing latches on double wooden doors and fit strong bolts to the top and bottom of the adjoining door.
  • Investing in a household alarm is a great deterrent for burglars.
  • Thorny shrubs growing under windows or against access routes such as drainpipes, walls and fences create an effective natural barrier. Berberis, blackthorn, rubus and pyracantha are all good for this. They are easy to grow and readily available from your garden centre.
  • Fix a grill to steel plates inside garage and shed windows. Chicken wire is a good low cost alternative and may slow a thief down.
  • Keep your home in good condition. Burglars looking for an easy way in will target split, rotten or warped doors and window frames.
  • Put away tools and equipment and lock sheds and outbuildings when you're not using them.
  • If you have been a victim of a burglary or are over 60, you can receive some security improvements for free.