By the time we have the Easter long weekend and the May Bank Holidays we’ll be allowed to have small gatherings in our gardens, and what a welcome change that will be! The evenings will be lighter, the smell of barbecue will be in the air and spirits will be lifted by spending time with friends and family again. As ever, in this modern world, these good things come with their drawbacks – criminals.
After so long shut away in our homes we’ll be so excited to be able to visit friends again that it’s likely that security will go out of the window – quite literally! It will be lovely to have the windows open and get some fresh air in the house, but if the whole family is in the garden, and the front windows are open this is the perfect invitation to burglars to come in and have a look around. Some seasoned burglars might use this as a scoping opportunity to see what you have, where it is, and how stringent you are about home security. They will then return to do a full haul of your valuables when you’re out and they won’t be disturbed.
Some, more opportunistic burglars, will go straight for the prize and make off with your TV, tablet, laptop or the smartphone you’ve left charging in the lounge. We humans are very good at assuming a position of safety just by virtue of our presence on the property; Burglars will take advantage of this and when you let your guard down is precisely when they will strike.
If you’re having a couple of friends over in the evening, never leave a note on the front door telling them to come straight round to the back garden, this is another invitation to burglars that tells they you’ll be distracted and not inside the house for a period of time. It is never a good idea to leave any kind of note on your door, whether it’s for a delivery, a party or a contractor, so if you’re popping out for five minutes don’t advertise this on your door.
If you’re hard of hearing, or you have limited mobility these are also things not to advertise. Some people may think leaving a note for callers that you may not hear the door, or you may take a while to answer is just the polite thing to do, but people will take advantage of this. If a burglar thinks you won’t hear them creeping round the house, or that you don’t pose a threat to them if they are discovered, then they’ll mark the property as an easy target.
With people in high spirits and enjoying the (hopefully) sunny long weekends, we don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but remember that burglars have had few job opportunities over the last 12 months and as soon as they can operate again they will be out on force – don’t be the victim of a burglary that you could have prevented by taking some easy steps.
Keep your windows shut and locked, keep front doors locked and bolted, and always be vigilant for suspicious activities in the street as the sun starts to go down. If you’re working in the front garden, perhaps tidying up the borders or mowing the lawn, be sure to put all your tools away when you finish. Remind the children to put their toys and bikes away too, even if they’re just coming in for refreshments, as it only takes a few seconds to steal a bike and these types of crime are not affected by the pandemic – in fact bike thefts have remained largely stable throughout. We want you to enjoy these long weekends and not have a crime-related hangover to deal with the next day.