Whilst National Crime Figures are falling, there has been an increase in rural crimes. According to the NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report, there was a 16% increase in rural crime in Oxfordshire during 2015.
In recent years the focus on rural policing has been increased. It requires a different approach to crime reduction in urban areas. Specialist teams have been working in rural communities including Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to establish effective communications with communities, understand local concerns and encourage reporting.
Whilst the increase in rural crime figures has gone up, Thames Valley Police have put some of the results down to a growing confidence in rural policing and an increase in the reporting of criminal activities including theft.
Cost of Crime
Despite the policing efforts, rural crime in the South East cost around 4million last year. The loss of treasured possessions or work equipment can extend beyond the financial costs, with loss of earnings, the emotional loss of items with sentimental value and the loss of confidence in the security of your home.
Protecting your Property
Double glazed windows and doors with security locks are two investments that instantly make your property less of a target. Modern glazing units are tough to break and with key locks as standard, they offer an additional level of protection, both in terms of thieves getting in and getting out with your belongings.
The fact that lockable double glazed windows and security doors are considered favourably when insurance companies are calculating your premium is testament to their effectiveness in crime prevention. If you don’t want to add to the Oxfordshire statistics and are considering double glazed windows, Banbury and surrounding areas are served by http://cherwellwindows.co.uk/windows/.
Whilst sheds, garages and other outbuildings have the space to provide convenient storage for sports equipment, tools, garden items, bikes, boats and other bulky possessions, they are often less closely monitored than items in the main property. This makes items stored inside more vulnerable to theft.
By installing toughened glass windows, motion lighting and multiple locks, you can help to make your out buildings a less appealing target. You can also help by keeping ladders and other equipment that may aid access into your property locked up and out of sight.
Protecting your Belongings
It is worth taking a picture of any valuable belongings that you own and keeping this, along with serial numbers or other identifying features. Security pens can be used to tag your items and tracking devices can be fitted to larger equipment, vehicles and machinery. These will all help to increase the chances of any stolen items being returned.
Keep valuable items out of sight. If desirable items are clearly visible from the windows, the risk of breaking in can seem worthwhile. Close the blinds or curtains at night, so no one can see through your windows. For the same reason, take care when disposing of packaging that contained valuable items to ensure you aren’t actively advertising what you have inside.
When items aren’t in use, lock them up. Wheel locks, safes and bike locks are all affordable means of adding additional security, even when your belongings are stored behind locked doors.
An empty property is a tempting target, so it is wise to take extra security precautions before you go away. From asking a neighbour to pop in and feed the cat, to cancelling your doorstep delivery and leaving a car parked on the drive, you can make it less obvious that you are away.
If you are heading off on holiday or a lengthy business trip, don’t promote the fact on social media. This information is then in the public domain and you never know who might be monitoring your movements. There is no need to ‘check in’ to the airport on your Facebook profile and your glorious photos can be shared on Instagram when you return.
Writer, Mary Lewis Jackson is living in United Kingdom. Mary Lewis Jackson is part of our authors community.