Prevention of Crime


How you can prevent crime

Not all crime is preventable, but there are things you can do to make it much less likely that you'll be victimised. Many of the steps suggested here are common sense, but they can make a real difference to your safety.
By securing your home and property you can save yourself the distress and expense of crime, and make your community a safer and better place to live.
A burglar only needs to spot an open window, unlocked side gate or dodgy alarm to make their move. Think about it – if you know your home security looks poor, so will a thief. Many crimes are as simple as an opportunity exploited. Don't give thieves that chance. Having the right doors, windows and locks can make your home safer.

Protect your home

Most burglaries are carried out by opportunist thieves. In around 20% of all burglaries, they don't even have to use force. They enter through an open door or window.

Safe and secure

Reduce the risk of your home being burgled by taking these simple (and often inexpensive) precautions:

  • Fit strong locks to external doors and windows, and make sure they are locked.
  • Remove the keys and keep them out of sight and in a safe place.
  • Fit five-lever mortise deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) to all external doors.
  • If you are replacing or fitting new doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) and PAS 24-1 (doors).
  • Make sure the doors and frames are strong and in good condition. The doors should be at least 44mm thick.
  • Consider using laminated glass (for windows) as this is much harder to break.
  • Consider fitting a letterbox cage or other restrictor to prevent thieves from reaching through to open the door.
  • Fit a door chain or bar and door viewer (spy-hole). Use them every time someone calls. Don't leave door chain or bar on all the time in case you need to get out in an emergency.
  • Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, in a flowerpot or behind a loose brick - thieves know to look there first.

  • Stay safe on public transport

    Take a few actions to ensure that your journey is a safe one.

    Here are a few tips to make your journeys safer.Although you're no more likely to be a victim of crime on public transport as you are anywhere else, there are a few simple actions you can take to make sure you stay safe:

    On the bus

    Use a bus stop you know, or one that appears busy and well lit if you're going to an unfamiliar place, have friends meet you at your destination sit close to the driver


    On the train


    Wait on a well lit section of platform, near other people sit in a busy compartment at the front of the train if you feel uncomfortable, consider getting out of your carriage and into another, or even getting off the train altogether.

    Taking a taxi


    As often as possible, use a taxi company you know, or one recommended by family or friends if you have booked a taxi over the phone, make sure the driver knows your name and destination, in order to ensure it's the correct taxi have your money and keys ready so that you can get into your home quickly at the end of your jouney if you feel uncomfortable in a taxi, ask the driver to stop in a busy familiar place and get out of the car.

    Stop vehicle crime

    Keep your vehicle safe with our handy crime prevention tips.

    Keep your vehicle safe

    Some of the advice may sound obvious, but it could make all the difference if you follow it consistently. Read our top ten tips to find out more.

    1. Don't leave items on display

    Never leave anything on display when you leave your vehicle. Even an old coat or a plastic bag can tempt a thief.

    2. Use immobilisers

    Electronic engine immobilisers prevent your vehicle from starting and are the best way to stop thieves. They should be professionally fitted - either by your car dealer or by an installer approved by the Vehicle Systems Installation Board.

    3. Park safely

    When parking at home, always use your garage if you have one, and lock both your vehicle and your garage. If you don't have a garage, try to park in a well-lit, open place.

    4. Buy a steering wheel lock

    Use a steering wheel lock every time you leave your vehicle.

    5. Secure your wheels

    Locking wheel nuts are cheap, easy to fit and stop thieves from taking your wheels.

    6 . Etch your vehicle identification number onto surfaces

    Have your vehicle registration number or the last seven digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto all windows, both windscreens and your headlamps.

    8. Mark your equipment

    Mark all your equipment, like your car stereo, with your vehicle registration number.

    9. Check before buying a used vehicle

    Before buying, check whether the car you are interested in has been reported stolen, seriously damaged or is still subject to finance.

    It is up to you to make sure the vehicle you want isn't stolen, if you do end up buying a stolen vehicle you could:

  • Lose all your money
  • Lose the vehicle
  • Inherit whatever problems the vehicle had (unpaid tickets, penalties etc)
  • Risk police interest in your actions

  • So don't take the chance, check it out first! If you have any suspicions, notify the police immediately.

    Keep your bike safe

    Follow our advice and protect your bike from theft.

    Follow our simple crime prevention tips and keep your bicycle safe from theft.

    With increasing numbers of us owning bicycles, it's important to know how to keep them safe. Especially as more of us are being encouraged to take up cycling both to improve our health and as an alternative form of transport to reduce congestion and emissions.

    Protect your possessions

    Take out insurance, either by extending your home contents insurance or through a separate policy. Cycling organisations and bike shops may offer specialist cover
    record and register your bike:
    - Register your bicycle model, make and frame number. Contact your local police station for further advice
    - Take a clear colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features
    security mark the frame

    At home


    More than half of all bicycle thefts take place from an owner’s property.

    keep your bike in a secure garage or shed and Keep the door locked.
    Keep it out of public view.
    Secure it to an immovable object, or consider installing a floor or wall mounted anchor lock for extra security.

    Out and about


    Always lock your bicycle, even if you are just leaving it for a couple of minutes
    Avoid isolated places. Leave your bike where a potential thief can be easily seen
    park your bike safely and considerately where it will not cause a danger or obstruction to others – particularly the elderly or the very young, or people with a disability
    Invest in a quality lock. Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended as the minimum standard. Ask your local bike shop for a certified locks recommendation
    Lock your bike to an immovable object – a bike rack or ground anchors. Remember that thieves can remove drainpipes and lift bikes off signposts
    make the lock and bike hard to manoeuvre when parked - stop thieves smashing it open:
    - Keep the lock away from the ground
    - Keep the gap between bike and lock small secure removable parts. Lock both wheels and the frame together. Take smaller parts and accessories with you, for example, lights, pumps and quick-release saddles.
    If you think you are being offered a stolen bike, ring Crimestoppers on Tel No or Tel No.

    Bogus callers

    Don't fall victim to bogus callers - keep them outside.

    When somebody turns up on your doorstep asking for money or help, they're often not who they say they are.
    It's a common scenario: somebody knocks on your door and tells you their car has broken down, and could you loan them some cash? They promise to pay you back - they'll just drop the money through your letterbox.

    The only problem? It's a scam.

    Variations on the theme

    There are dozens of scams like this in operation at any given time. There's the 'ran out of petrol and left my wallet at home' scam. The 'my mother's sick and I need money for a cab' scam. The list is as endless as the human imagination.

    Scamsters can be endlessly creative. Pushing their cars up the street, for example, and stopping passers-by asking for cash for petrol. Then getting in their perfectly working cars and driving away.

    Distraction thefts

    The more dangerous and complex scams involve people pretending to be from utilities companies and asking for access to homes.

    There are around 100/150 reported incidents of 'distraction burglary' every year - when callers get into a person's home through false pretenses, and then steal cash or valuables while the home-owner is distracted.

    They often work in pairs - with one person distracting the resident while the other is rifling through their belongings.

    Be cautious

    When a stranger rings your bell, be cautious. Don't let anybody in unless you are expecting them. Representatives of the water, gas and electric companies rarely make house calls without appointments.

    If there is a real gas or water emergency, police and firefighters are likely to be present.

    There are some simple precautions you can take to help ensure you don't become a victim:

    - Talk to people through the door, rather than opening it when they knock
    - Ask who they are before opening the door, then keep the door on the chain until you've seen their identification
    - Make sure your back door is closed and locked before answering your front door - thieves have been known to work in pairs, with one entering through the back while the other knocks on the front door


    Ask for identification


    If anybody comes to your door for legitimate purposes, they will have an I.D. card from the organisation they represent. Before you even speak to them, ask to see it, and keep the door on the chain while you look it over.

    If you need glasses in order to read the card, close and lock the door before going to get them. Never leave the door open and unattended.

    Stay safe online

    Tips to help make sure your internet transactions are private.

    Internet fraud is one of the fastest growing areas of illegal activity in the India. If you shop online, take a few easy steps to ensure that your personal information is protected.
    For many years the intense security that protected most internet-based transactions arguably made shopping online safer than shopping in the high street.
    But over the last few years, clever hackers have succeeded in a number of internet scams - convincing those who bank online to give over their account details, for example, and creating false credit card encryption screens.
    So these days, you need to take extra steps to ensure that your information is protected.

    Don't become a victim

    Here are a few things you can do to make your online transactions safer:

    - Make sure your web-browser is set to the highest security level
    - Use a recent version of a web browser - they have better security features
    - Look for a padlock symbol at the bottom of the page and 'https' at the beginning of the web address. If those are not there, do not enter credit card information
    - If you have concerns, telephone the company to ask about its encryption
    - Print out your electronic receipt and keep it safe
    - Check bank and credit card statements to make sure the details match
    - Never disclose your PIN numbers to anyone, including people who claim to be from your bank
    - Remember, your bank will never ask you to reenter your account information, and they will never ask you to send your pin number in an email
    - For more information, check out Card Watch (new window), a banking group that works with police and retailers to prevent credit card fraud.

    Student safety

    How to make sure your students days are safe ones.
    Students are, statistically, one of the most likely groups to fall victim to crime. Read our simple tips and stay safe.
    Students own more expensive consumer goods per head than the rest of the population. It is no surprise then that 1 in 3 students becomes the victim of a crime each year. Added to that fact, young people (aged 16 to 24 year old) are around three times more likely to be victims of burglary than people in other age groups, which makes students all the more vulnerable.

    What to look out for

    Crimes mostly affecting students are:
    - Mugging
    - Vehicle-related theft
    - Burglary
    But by taking a few simple precautions, you can help to make sure you don't become a victim.

    Top safety tips

    Don't be a statistic. Staying safe is all about following a few common-sense guidelines. Read the following tips, which could make all the difference:

    - Many burglaries happen when a door or window has been left open - in a private home or flat, lock up whenever you go out, with deadbolts if you have them
    - In a hall of residence, be careful who you let in or who follows you into the building - lock your bedroom door even if you are only going down the corridor
    - Robbers are after an easy target - walk in groups at night, travel by taxi or stay over with friends, your safety is worth more than the cab fare home!
    - If possible, use cash-machines during the day - put your card and cash away and be vigilant - never write down your PIN
    keep cards and chequebooks separately - note down your card details so you can cancel them quickly
    - Always lock your car and put valuables out of sight - never leave the keys in the ignition even when paying for petrol
    after a night out, arrange to go home with friends, or in a taxi
    - To prevent spiking, don't leave drinks unattended
    be vigilant when using your mobile phone - if your phone is stolen, call your network or 100 to immobilise it
    - Protect yourself with insurance - keep lists of the make, model and serial numbers of your electronic items to help police track them down if they are stolen
    - Mark your property with the initials of your university (e.g. NU - Nottingham University) and your student ID number - this makes it harder for a burglar to sell stolen goods and can help the police to return items to you

    Telephone scams

    When the offer is too good to be true - hang up on them!

    Telephone scams
    Bogus calls designed to convince you to hand over your credit card or bank details are a real problem. Be cautious.

    If you are contacted by telephone and told that you have won a prize, think for a minute: did you enter any competitions?

    Odds are you didn't.

    The vast majority of the time, these calls are scams, originating from abroad and designed to convince you to give over personal details such as your bank account number or credit card information.

    Just hang up

    If this happens to you, just hang up the phone. If you ever do win, you will never be asked for personal details, nor would you ever have to pay anything in order to collect your winnings - that's a sure sign that something is wrong.

    Many people have been taken in by these scams, and some have lost their entire life savings.

    Don't be one of them.

    never give out personal details over the phone
    always ask for more information
    be sure you know who you're talking to
    keep your bank account details safe

    Mark your property

    A few simple actions can help you get your property back after a crime.
    Marking your property is one of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting your possessions.
    Marking your valuable property with your name or address is easy and effective. If your property is ever stolen, it makes it more difficult to sell on, and it makes it easier for the police to trace your belongings back to you if found.

    Two methods

    Metropolitan Police recommend two ways to mark your property:
    engraving or punching your address and postcode into your property
    marking antiques or valuable property with an ultra-violet marker


    How to do it

    For the first method, use a fine drill or sharp-pointed tool (inexpensive permanent marking kits can be purchased at most home improvement stores) to neaty mark your equipment with your address and postcode.
    For bicycles, mowers, engines and other heavy metal objects, you can use a punching tool and a hammer to mark your address and post code.
    For the second method, you can purchase permanent ultra-violet (UV) marker pens and mark the same information on more valuable possessions. The marks will be invisible to the naked eye.
    However, UV marks will fade with time and should be redone periodically.
    When police recover stolen property, they search them for any markings that might identify the owners, so this is a good way to ensure that you can get your property back should it ever be stolen.

    Keep your bicycle safe

    Follow our simple crime prevention tips and keep your bicycle safe from theft.
    With increasing numbers of us owning bicycles, it's important to know how to keep them safe. Especially as more of us are being encouraged to take up cycling both to improve our health and as an alternative form of transport to reduce congestion and emissions.
    For security tips for cyclist, please read Steer Clear of Cycle Theft.
    Help keep your bike secure by following some simple tips.

    Protect your possessions

    Take out insurance, either by extending your home contents insurance or through a separate policy. Cycling organisations and bike shops may offer specialist cover
    record and register your bike:
    - Register your bicycle model, make and frame number. Contact your local police station for further advice
    - Take a clear colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features
    security mark the frame
    At home
    More than half of all bicycle thefts take place from an owner’s property.
    keep your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked
    keep it out of public view
    secure it to an immovable object, or consider installing a floor or wall mounted anchor lock for extra security

    Out and about

    - Always lock your bicycle, even if you are just leaving it for a couple of minutes
    - Avoid isolated places. Leave your bike where a potential thief can be easily seen
    - Park your bike safely and considerately where it will not cause a danger or obstruction to others – particularly the elderly or the very young, or people with a disability
    - Invest in a quality lock. Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended as the minimum standard.
    - Lock your bike to an immovable object – a bike rack or ground anchors. Remember that thieves can remove drainpipes and lift bikes off signposts
    Make the lock and bike hard to manoeuvre when parked - stop thieves smashing it open:
    - Keep the lock away from the ground
    - Keep the gap between bike and lock small
    secure removable parts. Lock both wheels and the frame together. Take smaller parts and accessories with you, for example, lights, pumps and quick-release saddles
    If you think you are being offered a stolen bike, ring Crimestoppers on 100

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