Sunday, 22 December 2013

How to avoid being burgled over Christmas

We can't see why you would possibly want to leave Hackney at Christmas, but if you really must, here is some advice from our friendly local police officers:

Almost half of all burglaries happen when a flat or house is empty. By following the tips, you can make your home more secure while you are away.  


  • Make your home look like someone is living in it. Don’t close your curtains in daytime, this shows the house is empty. Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark.
  • Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries (advice more for the twentieth than the twenty-first century, that one).
  • Avoid discussing holiday plans where strangers may hear details of your absence from home
  • Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
  • Uncollected mail is a sign that you are away. The Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service will keep your mail for up to two months while you are away.
  • Consider leaving important documents and valuable items with other family members or a bank, or lock them in a safe.
  • Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are traveling to your holiday destination.
  • If you normally leave pedal cycles or similar items in your shed, consider putting them in your house.
  • Make sure you have locked all outside doors and windows and if you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set.


  • Fit mortice locks or bolts to all outside doors and locks to all easily accessible windows.
  • Have an approved alarm system installed.
  • Try not to leave valuable items, like your TV, hi-fi, video or DVD, where thieves can see them.
  • Mark belongings visibly and permanently with your postcode and house number.
  • Make sure that you have up-to-date contents and buildings insurance (a particularly important one there).
  • Most burglars get in through a back door or window. Make it difficult for them by locking all side or back gates and adding trellis to the top of walls and fences. Fit lights that come on at night to cover the sides and back of your house.
  • Put all your tools away so they cannot be used to break into your house and lock your garage and shed with proper security locks.

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