Secure your home | Devon & Cornwall Police
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Burglary / theft

Secure your home

House surrounded by barb wire, cctv, lights and beware of the dog signs.

A third of burglars enter through an open door or window - remember to close and lock your windows when you go out

Many burglars are opportunist thieves looking for homes or business premises that offer them the least risk of getting caught.
They look for open doors and windows and a lack of security.

If they can see a valuable item to steal, it will give them an incentive to find a way in.

By following these simple steps you can deter a burglar from targeting your home.

  1. Doors
    Keep doors locked even when you are home or in the back garden. Take keys out of locks as a burglar would reach through a letterbox or cat flap.
  2. Alarm
    Install a burglar alarm. Make sure all household members know how to work the alarm and use it daily.
  3. Windows
    Close and lock them. Use lights on timer switches when you are away to make your home appear occupied.
  4. Paths
    Consider having a gravel path/driveway as it makes anyone approaching the house easier to hear.
  5. Shed
    Lock your shed and secure tools and ladders inside, ideally hidden from view.
  6. Fencing
    Put up high fences or plant prickly bushes that would be difficult to climb over.
  7. Gates
    Make sure gates cannot be climbed over and secure them with appropriate locks.
  8. Mail/Milk/Curtains
    When away ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home, collect your mail, newspaper and milk so it does not pile up at your front door and draw your curtains.
  9. Driveway
    Park your car on the driveway or road in front of your house to show someone is home.  If away ask a neighbour to park there.
  10. Outside lighting
    Install lights outside to light pathways at night.

If your home looks empty to you it will look empty to a burglar.

Locks - Fit strong locks to external door and windows which should meet insurance requirements.

Keys - Don’t leave keys in window or door locks. Keep keys out of sight and in a safe place.

Mark your property - Marking your property with your postcode, house number or house name makes your property traceable and deters criminals. You can register your property free of charge at
For more information on this visit our Property Marking pages. (add link here)

Many burglaries occur when properties are empty. Try to make your home appear occupied when you are away, even if it is for a short time.
Don’t advertise that you are away by posting it on social media. Burglars use these networks too.

Fit a door chain or bar and a spy hole and use them when someone knocks at the door.

The average cost of a burglary to a homeowner in Devon and Cornwall is over £1,000. (October 2012)

Items that are hot property for burglars include:

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Purses
  • Electrical equipment
  • Money
  • Mobile phones
  • Jewellery
  • TVs
  • Ipods
  • Credit cards
  • Car keys

Check with your local police to see if there is a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area.



Crime Reduction Dept.
Devon & Cornwall Police HQ

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  • Created: 17/04/2009 15:43:24 |
  • Modified: 03/01/2013 12:12:15

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