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Keep burglars in the dark this winter

Crime prevention advice to keep your home secure

Posted on 22 November 2022

As the days get shorter, burglars may take advantage of empty houses being easier to spot.

Our neighbourhoods continue to be safe, and Derbyshire Police work hard to tackle burglary. However, it’s vital to leave your home secure whenever you leave it.

Here’s what we recommend you do before you go out:

  • close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes
  • make sure that any valuables are out of sight
  • keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys including car keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through even a small opening
  • never leave car documents or ID in obvious places, such as kitchens or hallways
  • in the evening, shut the curtains and leave a low-energy light on
  • if you’re out all day, use a timer device to automatically turn a low-energy light on when it gets dark
  • set your burglar alarm
  • keep gates, garages, sheds or outbuildings secure. Lock your bike to a robust fitting bolted to the ground or wall, like a ground anchor
  • lock away ladders and gardening tools to prevent them being used to access your home
  • never leave a spare key outside of your house – burglars know the usual hiding spots
  • consider installing a video doorbell or CCTV to help you know who’s outside your property

Even leaving one light on – or using a timer - would give the impression that a house is occupied and so could deter a burglar. We know energy bills are difficult at the moment but do it if you can, as energy-efficient lighting costs a minimal amount to run but can be effective for security purposes.

We’d encourage everyone to be good neighbours and to contact the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously. You report this via the non-emergency methods but, if you believe the crime is still in progress, call 999.

For further information, please visit the Derbyshire Constabulary website.

You can also sign up for Derbyshire Alert to receive information directly from your local policing teams and Neighbourhood Watch.