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Burglar alarms


Answer

A secure home will reduce the chance of you getting burgled. Many domestic burglaries are committed by opportunists; criminals will look for homes that have little or no obvious security, have doors or windows left open or seem unoccupied.

Listed below are some top tips to help keep your home safe from thieves:

  • Installing an alarm system will help to deter burglars.
  • Ensure you have a robust, secure front door with British Standard approved locks and hinges. See the link in Related Information for detailed guidance from the Master Locksmiths Association.
  • Install outside lighting, such as motion sensor lights so that intruders cannot approach without being seen.
  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you are just out in the garden.
  • Consider installing CCTV, as this is good deterrent for thieves and if you are targeted, CCTV can provide valuable evidence.
  • When you go out, leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied.
  • Keep hedges and walls at the front of your house low (under one metre) so burglars have nowhere to hide.
  • Keep side and rear boundaries high and add trellis or prickly defensive planting to make it harder for burglars to climb over.
  • If you have a sliding patio door, check it has an anti-lift device fitted so it can't be lifted out of the frame.
  • Move bins or garden furniture that could be used to reach windows.
  • Ensure communal doors in flats / apartments are closed and secure and report any faults to your landlord.
  • Never buzz anyone in to the building that you do not know or let them follow behind you.
  • Lock and secure any sheds and outbuildings.
  • Property mark and register valuable items. See Related Information for details.

Please also see the following websites in Related Information.


Answer

We cannot make any specific recommendations. Your home insurance company would be one of the best people to contact to get advice regarding a burglar alarm. They may have a list of approved companies that they can recommend, and by using one of them they may offer a reduction on your policy. See the link in Related Information to Security Alarms, which provides information as to the different types of alarm systems that are available, to see which ones would best suit your needs.

It would be a good idea to see if the alarm company that you select has one or more of the following accreditations (in no particular order):

    • BSIA (British Security Industry Association) or FSA (Fire and Security Association) - these are the industry's own professional bodies
    • NSI (National Security Inspectorate) who also run other named schemes
    • SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board)

For further information on burglar alarms and other home security tips, please see the websites in Related Information.


Answer

The Police will only attend alarms installed in line with the National Police Chiefs' Council's (NPCC) Security Systems Policy. The majority of domestic alarms do not comply with that policy by virtue of the fact they are audible only systems.

The Police will also respond to domestic alarms, when there is some evidence of criminal activity. Should there be an activation and there is evidence of criminal activity or you see something suspicious, please dial 999. It is not advisable to put yourself in danger by making checks yourself.

If it appears to be a false activation, contact the police on their non-emergency number as they may have the owner's contact details on their database.

If it is a persistent problem, contact the local council or see the question in Related Information about noisy neighbours.


Answer

Yes, the details must be in writing, for a business and it must be on letter headed paper. The details will be forwarded on to the relevant Crime Prevention department for your police area.

Contact your local police force

Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

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