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These are the hints & tips gleaned from the Crime Panel Newsletters

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Basic Security - Houses

One in three of all domestic burglaries are committed through open windows or doors! Sneak-in-burglary still accounts for more than 1 in 4 of all domestic house burglaries! An window or door left open and out of your sight is an open opportunity to a criminal. Do you always Lock your doors and windows??

Ground floor rooms are the obvious preference for the thief but if there is a ready climb point to a first floor window, such as a flat roof, railings or drainpipe then that window could also become a target. Don't make it easy for the opportunist thief or burglar!!

Do you carry out the school run?  Before leaving your home you should always make sure all your doors and windows are secure? That includes shed / garage doors and be sure your side gates are bolted so that no one can enter whilst you are out.

Have all these items been post coded?  Including barbeque, tables, chairs and expensive large plant pots. If not, then involve the children in this task, many enjoy this kind of activity. You can use a UV pen for “invisible” post coding.

Have you moved your ladders outside so that you may carry out annual maintenance and possibly painting?  Have you left your ladders casually lying alongside a wall or fence? Not always within your daily view. The ‘Opportunist Thief’ just loves it when you do this.  Leaving them outside is ok providing you have secured them with a chain and safe padlock. Leaving ladders on view may not affect you, but they may be used to gain access to another property.

Whilst planning your home maintenance please be sure to check your vegetation is not going to cause problems by allowing it to overhang boundaries, drives and footpaths.  Trees and bushes should not be so large that they create ideal hiding places for the ‘Opportunist Thief’.

Using adequate outside security lights that come on when visitors approach are always a good indicator that someone is approaching.  Don’t forget to heck that your security lights are working correctly and that when they switch on they are pointing in the correct direction!  They do not need to light up your neighbour’s area also.  This may be deemed to be a nuisance so check them carefully. You should still use your timer switches in at least two rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs, again so that the ‘Opportunist Thief’ will not know if you are home or not.

Leave lights on timer switches when you go away on holiday or during the dark winter daysi especially f you leave home early in the morning, and return, after dark.

We know that its not always possible nowadays, but vehicles are safer stored in a garage rather than a drive but in all cases always remove loose items and when in the home place the keys away out of sight.

Would you like

free Security advice

along with a

free Security Survey?

Simply telephone

0845 60 60 60 6

to arrange for a

Neighbourhood Policing Team Officer to visit you.

Basic Security - Sheds & Garages

Take some time to think of Shed and Garage Security.

Cold Callers aka Doorstep Callers

Distraction Burglars ? Bogus Officials ? Cowboy Builders ? Who is calling at your door ?

Doorstep Crime is very rare, but it does happen and with a bit of thought you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim.


Many utility service providers like Gas, Electric, Water, provide a password scheme or hotline numbers for customers to call, to check the identity of callers before opening the door. Speak to your utility provider.



If a caller asks for your help, needs to make a telephone call, has lost a ball in your garden, needs a drink or a pen and paper for example, call a friend or neighbour to come and assist or assist them through a closed door.


If you suspect a bogus caller has visited you, even if you didn't let them in, Call the Police or tell a family member straight away.


If in Doubt, Keep Them Out !

Distraction burglaries and rogue trading are interlinked - all too often, the seemingly innocent doorstep seller is actually checking things out for a re-visit to carry out a burglary or distraction burglary.

Setting up No Cold Calling Zones is one way of stopping unwanted salespeople. The zones are set up in consultation with West Yorkshire Trading Standards,  Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police.

If you are interested in having a ‘Cold Calling Zone’ in your area use the contact numbers below.  You can help eliminate this type of crime.

Useful Numbers


Crimestoppers is not the Police.

Crimestoppers is the only charity directly supporting the police to detect crimes and bring offenders into the justice system.

The charity exists to allow people who have knowledge of Criminal Activity to be able to pass that information by ringing 0800 555 111 without ever having to fear the consequences of becoming involved in the enquiry. In other words, callers are never asked any personal information to identify who they are, where they live or any other contact information.

When you ring Crimestoppers you will speak to a person not a machine and the service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You will speak to a call agent who will ask lots of questions to provide the police with the best information about the criminal activity you are reporting and give them a realistic opportunity to investigate it. None of the questions they ask will be to identify who the caller is.

So how safe are you when you ring Crimestoppers? Well for a start, the fact you have rung will not appear on itemised phone bills from a land line. Crimestoppers call agents don’t have call line identifier don’t have 1471 facility to identify caller’s phone numbers and never trace calls.

Call agents are forbidden from telling the police the gender, apparent ethnicity or apparent age of any caller. If a caller has inadvertently said they live “next door,” or “are related” to the person they give information about, this is automatically kept out of the report sent to the police.

There are rewards too!

If the information a caller gives leads to somebody being arrested and charged, the caller can claim a cash reward of up to £1,000 and they still stay anonymous.

All the caller has to do is ask for a reference number and ring up later on to find out if anybody has been arrested and charged. If they have been, the caller will be asked to choose a bank they wish to collect the cash from then go there on a nominated day, give their reference number and they will be given cash. No signature, no record, simple as that.

If you don’t speak good English, then “Languageline” is available so an interpreter can join in with the conversation to ensure you fully understand the questions and what is on offer.

Still unsure whether to speak to Crimestoppers! Then ring 0800 555 111 and talk to an agent.


DC Kevin Mosley the Deputy Regional Coordinator for the Yorkshire/Humber and East Midlands Crimestoppers unit based at Wakefield said,

“The public continue to utilise the Crimestoppers facility, and calls are again up in 2009 with over 7300 calls being made by the public of West Yorkshire. This as resulted in over 600 arrests being made by the Police. That equates to every 11 calls results in a person being arrested and charged with criminal offences. What is even more staggering is that those arrests have resulted in over £2 million worth of drugs and property being recovered. It’s clear that the public give good quality information and the Police act on it, we want this work to continue.”

Satellite Navigation Systems

The most stolen article from motor vehicles is the Satellite Navigation system also known as SAT-NAV.

Pick-pocket Theft, Don't Become a Victim !!

Information regarding 'Euro Cylinder' locks   (BBC Inside Out programme February 2012).

To be secure Euro Cylinder locks as fitted to the majority of UPVC and Composite doors should meet the current Secure by Design 'Diamond Standard'. Most original fitted locks will fall short of this standard. Please consider changing your door locks and upgrading your security.

Details of the type of locks available can be found on the Master Locksmiths Associations web site

Please ensure you obtain at least 3 quotes for replacement locks from members of a recognised trade body such as

The master Locksmiths Association, The Door and Hardware Federation, Glass and Glazing Federation.  Also, consider contacting one of the Target Hardening organisations such as C.A.S.A.C (Community Action and Support Against Crime) Leeds. CASAC were featured on the BBC programme.

There are many locks advertised BUT few meet the current standard !!

Always ask for a Lock that has the Secure by Design ‘Diamond Standard’.

There is more information on the new locks and how easy it is to change them

on our website page here

Going on Holiday ?

Everyone needs a holiday some time, but we all want to return home to find everything is as we left it safe and sound.

Take a few moments to secure your house, Lock all doors and windows and if you have a Burglar Alarm switch it on, sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many houses are left insecure!!.


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In a non-emergency: but when police attendance is required, dial 101 and you will be connected to the police.

In an emergency: dial 999, where there is a danger to life or a crime in progress,

In an emergency always dial 999

Crimestoppers: If you have information about a crime, you can call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111. You don’t have to give them your name and you might be able to claim a reward.

Neighbourhood Watch

he whole concept of NHW is good neighbours looking after each other and taking an interest in their local area, this is supported by The Police with regular information updates about crime trends and more importantly, what the members can do to increase security in their homes.

Bearing in mind, that one in three of all domestic burglaries are committed through open windows or doors!, then this information can be as simple as reminding people to Lock Doors and Windows at all times.

I would encourage all residents to think about Neighbourhood Watch. If there is a group in your street, then why not make enquiries to join.

If no group exists why not start one, all assistance for setting up the group and getting literature and street signs will be given by your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Running a NHW group need only take a few minutes of your time each week, to read the information supplied and pass it on to the group members. The benefits of NHW are closer liaison with local Police, safer communities and peace of mind.


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