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Watch Out Magazine

The August 2016 addition of Watch Out magazine the bi-monthly community safety magazine includes useful advice on gas safety and  TV star Nick Hewer will help beat crooks.


Car key burglaries

In some cases burglars are breaking into houses while you sleep with the intention of finding your car keys, stealing your car and any other small items they find on the way. 

How can you help prevent this? 

  • Before you turn in for the night check that all doors, ground floor windows and easily accessible windows are closed and locked.
  • PVCu doors – don’t forget that the door is not fully locked until you have lifted the inside handle and turned the key or thumb-turn. When replacing a Europrofile lock cylinder ensure that you get a TS1007 three star anti-snap, anti-bump lock cylinder.
  • If you have an intruder alarm and can do so activate the downstairs zone when you go to bed.
  • To stop the burglar getting to the vulnerable windows and doors to the rear ensure that side gates are closed and locked.
  • Make sure you put your car keys somewhere safe and out of sight, when you return home. Put your car keys in a drawer (preferably one that is noisy to open) or some other secure place, but don’t take them up to the bedroom with you. 
  • If you have cars of different values, please park the higher value car in your garage.  If you can’t do this, please park the lower value car in front of the higher value car, as the thieves are more likely to target high value cars and will be deterred if they can’t easily drive such a car away from the scene.
  • With high value cars consider the fitting of a tracking system, word of caution you get what you pay for, look for a system that uses RF frequency, 3 or 4G phone networks SIM as well as satellite connection GPS. There are even systems where you can “Geo-fence” the vehicle location so that if it moves beyond this the tracking system is activated.

For further crime prevention advice contact your local Crime Prevention Officer using the police non emergency number 101.

Stephen Armson-Smith


Personal Safety (November 2015)

The most important thing to remember in personal safety is to be aware of your surroundings, “keep your wits about you” and plan your journey, have a plan in mind should things go wrong. You are very unlikely to become a victim of crime and these tips are intended to help safe guard you.

  1. Mobile phones and personal music players. Before you answer a text or a call check it is safe to do so, they can take your attention away from your surroundings and reduce one of your important senses – your hearing. Remember your illuminated screen lights up your face, reduces your vision around you at night and shows someone desirable mobile phone. Then there are also a number of road accidents that occur due to the same distractions.
  2. Trust your instincts. Our instincts have developed over years, if something does not feel right or feel safe go with the feelings, avoid the location. Try to use well lit, busy streets and use the route you know best. Walk facing the traffic so you can see cars that approach you and the people within. If you feel threatened raise the alarm, head for a crowded place, make a noise, knock on a door. When it’s safe to do so dial 999 it’s an emergency after all.
  3. Have a plan in your mind, if……….happens I will do what? It’s also a good practice at home, for instance – if I am awoken in the night by the smoke detector going off what’s the plan. Plan your journey give yourself time so that you don’t need to take the short cut you would not normally use, let someone know where you are going and what time you are likely to be back, know the times of buses and trains, take the number of a reliable taxi company with you. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and you have sufficient cash for your journey (don’t carry too much though and don’t exhibit it). Clothing – hoodies reduce your peripheral vision; wear something you can move easily in.
  4. Personal safety alarm. Consider carrying a personal safety alarm, or with the modern “smart phones” there are also app’s such (a Secured by Design accredited company), if you have it don’t hesitate to use it if you feel the need.
  5. In a car. Always use good well lit car parks such as “Parkmark” approved car parks. If you feel unsafe, look around get into your vehicle, lock yourself in and sound the horn. Use your mobile phone and then drive to a crowded place.

Further advice can be found on these websites: