Crime Reduction Advice : Home Security Whilst You Are On Holiday

Everyone needs a holiday some time and there is nothing like a change of scenery to recharge the batteries - but we all want to come home and find everything as we left it.  By following the advice set out below, you can help to make your home more secure while you are away.  Read the tips here and plan ahead.  Tick off the items before you go.

  • Make sure your home looks occupied. Ideally, ask a trusted neighbour or a friend to look after it (collecting mail, watering plants, feeding your pets, open/close curtains, etc).
  • Let them have the spare keys but don’t put your name or address on the fob in case they fall into the wrong hands.
  • Don’t leave your curtains closed in the daytime as this shows the house is empty. Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it gets dark.
  • Cancel any regular deliveries such as newspapers or milk.
  • Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
  • Uncollected mail is a sign that you are away. The Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service will keep your mail for up to two months while you are away.
  • Avoid discussing holiday plans on social media where strangers may discover your address and absence from home.  Post your photos once you get home, not while you are still away.
  • Consider leaving important documents and valuable items with other family members or a bank, or lock them in a safe.
  • Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination. Rather put the address of the person looking after your house or a family member.
  • If you normally leave valuable pedal cycles or similar items in your shed, consider putting them in the house.
  • Finally, don’t forget to lock all external doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set. If it’s a monitored alarm, ensure the alarm company has the details of your temporary keyholders.
  • And just before you set off, it’s worth spending a couple of minutes checking that you’ve done all you had to do and taken everything you need with you. Don’t forget your passport and tickets!

HELP FROM YOUR NEIGHBOURS It’s a good idea to get help from your neighbours. You could ask them to collect post, sweep up leaves, mow the lawn, open and close curtains, and so on. They could even occasionally park their car on your driveway. Anything to make the place look lived in. You can repay the favour by doing the same for them.

Let your neighbour know when you will be away and, if you can, give them details so that they can contact you, or someone who can act on your behalf, in an emergency.

Is there a Neighbourhood Watch scheme where you live? You can look on the internet at www.bedfordnhw.ourwatch.org.uk. It could help you make your home more secure while you’re away and has many other crime-prevention and community benefits.

 

This is a message sent via Beds Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

 Upgrade Fraud

Fraudsters are impersonating telephone service providers and contacting their clients offering a phone upgrade on a low monthly payment contract. The fraudsters will glean all your personal and financial details which will then be used to contact the genuine phone provider and order a new mobile phone handset. The fraudsters will either intercept the delivery before it reaches the victim’s address or order the handset to a different address.
Protect yourself

  • Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
  • Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.
  • If the offer is too good to be true it probably is.
  • If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.

If you have been a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/