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Protective marking


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 or maintenance company.
  • Never buzz anyone into 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.


It is much easier to steal a mobile phone when it is in use or on display. When you are using your mobile phone in a public place try and be aware of your surroundings and anyone that is perhaps stood close to you. In order to help prevent theft of your mobile phone keep it in a secure place on your person or in your bag.

You should also protectively mark your mobile phone. For further information on protective marking see the related question.

You should keep your contract or mobile phone box with the IMEI/serial number on it, in a safe place as the police will need to see evidence that you owned the phone, in the event that it is stolen. The contract or box are the only means of evidence the police will accept. A recent bill or delivery note will not be sufficient.

The IMEI/serial number on your phone is a number that is unique to your mobile phone. To find out what your IMEI number is type *#06# into your phone.
See the websites in Related Information for more information.


The police target communities within their force area that have a high number of reported burglaries and thefts. They will also give precedence to vulnerable members of the community.

To see if you are eligible, contact a crime prevention officer for your police area.

See the website in Related Information for suggestions of measures you can take yourself and other tips on home security.


Yes, you can mark the property yourself and there are lots of different products available, however we cannot recommend any specific products. Try Googling 'crime prevention marking' or something similar, but make sure you buy from a reliable source with which you are comfortable. Alternatively, speak to your local crime prevention department (via 101) who should be able to help you and some times they have campaigns during which they give away suitable markers.

Your insurance company may also be able to suggest products. For further information and other suggestions on making property more secure, please see links in Related Information.

Contact your local police force

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