Inconvenience, heart-ache and whole lot of cash make up the key
costs of domestic and non-domestic burglaries.
We have consistently driven down the number of burglaries in
Norfolk for several years and we are working hard to drive them
down further but there are still a number of measures you can take
to protect your property and prevent yourself from becoming a
The definition of a burglary includes several elements but is
generally understood to involve someone entering a building as a
trespasser and stealing or attempting to steal property. This
includes someone using a ‘trick’ such as posing as an official to
enter a building.
Here we give you some top tips on how to protect your home, your
shed, and even your oil tank. We also have details of some schemes
running across the county which may also help you.
You can reduce the risk of your home being burgled
by making sure you’ve taken these simple (and often inexpensive)
- Be aware - Most burglaries are carried out by opportunist
thieves. Sometimes, they don’t even have to use force - they get in
through an open door or window. Get into the routine of checking
that windows and doors are closed and locked and use window
limiters if windows are to be left open at night.
- Evaluate the height of your front boundary – walls, fences and
hedges should all be no higher than 1m and trees should be crowned
to 2m from the ground to give a good view from passing
traffic/pedestrians so any thief will be visible.
- Lighting on the property should be fit for purpose – don’t
light areas which are not overlooked as this gives the criminal
light to work in with little chance of detection. Consider lighting
at the front of the property to make sure all visitors are easily
visible. Dust to Dawn lights can be more effective that
sensor-activated lights, they can have a lower lux (dimmer) so they
do not cause irritation to neighbours.
- Fit locks which are fit for purpose to your windows and doors.
All final exit doors should be fitted with at least one five-lever
mortice lock which is BS3621. All accessible windows should be
fitted with window locks – two on windows over 30cm. Accessible
windows are all those on the ground floor and upper floors
accessible from a flat roof or other climbing aid.
- Use automatic timers to light up your home and consider using
timers on any radios inside your property to give the appearance of
occupancy and create a level of uncertainty in the mind of the
You can help make your community safer and
reduce crime by joining or forming a Home watch scheme in your
Safeguard the whole of your property – Don’t
forget the garden shed! It often has plenty of tools or equipment
but limited security. An insecure shed can also give the criminal
the tools they need to break into your home. Shed owners can take
the following steps;
- Fit good quality mortice locks or padlocks
one third up and one third down on the door to reduce the leverage
available. Mortice locks should be BS3621, any padlocks and hasps
should be approved by Sold Secure. Don’t forget the hinges as they
can be a weak point – use one way screws so they cannot easily be
- Consider if you need a window in your shed –
it is another way in for thieves. If you do need a window then lock
it and make sure the thief cannot see in to check what you have.
Mesh can be used on the inside or outside to improve the
- Fit a security light and shed alarm to deter
- Use padlocks and chains to secure high value
items including power tools, lawnmowers and cycles to an anchor
and/or invest in a wire cage where they can be stowed and locked
Farms, commercial properties and householders
who have heating oil on their premises should remain vigilant as to
the possibility of being targeted. A few simple measures can make a
big difference to protecting your oil tank.
- Thieves will want to put their vehicle as
near to the tank as possible, so trying to prevent that is one way
to reduce the risks. Position the tank so that access to it can be
restricted when the premises are unoccupied will reduce the
opportunity. It should also be situated within sight of nearby
occupied buildings and not hidden from view behind outbuildings.
Lighting may also deter potential thieves.
- Control switches should be located in a
secure building and the electricity supply turned off when the tank
is not in use.
- A good quality locking device should also be
fitted to all fuel tanks such as a high-quality shackled padlock.
Owners could also consider perimeter security for the whole tank
such as a metal cage or fencing. Make sure all products have been
attack tested, check they are Sold Secure approved by logging on to
Private householders and
businesses throughout Norfolk can get a free site-specific crime
prevention survey of their premises carried out by a
qualified member of our staff.
We have many officers in Safer
Neighbourhood Teams who are trained to do domestic crime
prevention surveys and they can be contacted through the team that
services your area.
For large dwellings, farms, commercial
premises, schools and industrial estates you will need a Crime
Prevention Officer (also known as a Crime Reduction Officer) who is
trained by the Home Office, they can be contacted via