Security advice to homeowners

Tayside Police is urging local residents to review security measures within and around their homes and outbuildings following recent reports of break-ins in the last few weeks.

They are keen to advise householders of the various security measures they can apply to their property and to reassure residents that officers will continue to investigate all break-ins thoroughly and take every opportunity to bring offenders concerned in these crimes to justice.

A Tayside Police spokesman said: “Beware the opportunist thief as they will take every opportunity to exploit poor security at and around people’s homes. We are asking householders to help us to help them prevent crime by considering what they can do make their homes more secure.

“Very often it is the simplest security measures that can make the difference and stop crime from happening in the first place. Please take heed of our crime prevention advice to try to reduce the odds of ever being a victim of crime. First and foremost, lock front and back doors, as well as windows, even when at home and especially overnight.

“While less obvious at this time of year, Tayside Police still recommend that householders leave a light on if they are unlikely to be home before dark, or use a timer switch to ensure that the lights come on as dusk falls.

“Nowadays, it is common for people to store expensive goods and equipment in their sheds, garages and outbuildings – which is precisely why householders should take steps to ensure their belongings are safe and make life as hard as possible for the opportunist thief. Tools and ladders and even garden furniture should also be put away and never left out for thieves to steal, or even use to commit crime.

“Be a good neighbour and look out for any suspicious activity within your community. Look out for other people living around you, particularly older or vulnerable neighbours.

“Tell the police immediately if you have any reason to be suspicious about any persons or vehicles. Along with community safety wardens, our officers regularly carry out high visibility patrols across the city. They will respond to ongoing incidents and react to information passed to them by the public.

“We would urge residents to report crime when they see it happening, or where they have suspicions that something is going on.”

Tayside Police suggest that a checklist for home security may include ensuring that keys are not left within door locks, consider getting a house alarm fitted or using an existing one, consider buying timer devices for lights if the house is going to be unoccupied during hours of darkness - it is important that a home looks occupied even if no-one is home.

Mark all valuables with a UV pen with the relevant postcode and house number. If stolen items are recovered by the police, it is much easier to return them to the owner if this has been done, Where possible, making sure the shed can be seen from the house.

Make it more difficult for criminals to simply unscrew locks or hinges of shed doors by fitting carriage bolts, or clutch head security screws. Another method of stopping screws being removed is to fill the heads with epoxy resin.

For visibility at night, consider sensor-operated lighting as a convenient and an effective deterrent.

Consider the use of an intruder alarm for sheds, garages, or outbuildings.

Never leave the shed, garage, or outbuilding unlocked when unattended.

Anyone who sees any suspicious activity in their community, or who has any information that could assist police with their enquiries should call 0300 111 2222. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Anyone who sees a crime in progress should call 999 immediately.