In recent years theft from houses in Sutton was split roughly 50 / 50 between those entered in the middle of the night when people were asleep, and the middle of the day when a property is empty. In 2020 this has changed because of the higher number of people staying at home, but it is still important to keep your home secure.
Doors and Windows
All doors and windows must be closed and locked every time the house is empty.
If you have a plastic door, make sure it has a triple bolt lock and it is locked in the thrown position when you are out. Wooden doors should have both a British standard automatic deadlocking rim lock and a mortice deadlock.
The majority of domestic break-ins occur at the side or rear of the property. If you have a passageway from front to rear, you should have a large lockable gate to prevent access.
After buying a new house, make sure you change the door locks. You don’t know who has the previous key.
Particularly at night, having an alarm will make most intruders leave immediately. Most intruder alarm systems can be zoned so door contact sensors, and movement sensors can be separately set.
Please note: An alarm system that does not conform to police requirements will not receive a police response unless a person at the premises confirms a crime in progress.
Video Door Bells
It is very common for a burglar to ring the doorbell before attempting entry. Newer video doorbells record each person that uses it. This will discourage them.
Or if they’re particularly stupid, you might end up with a picture of them.
Remember to set a secure password if you have a wireless security system. See our advice on Data Security for more information.
These are an active deterrent. The police confirm that houses with CCTV are far less likely to be targeted. And if you have one facing the street, you might be able to help neighbours too. The police routinely check nearby cameras after a crime.
Cameras should only view within your property’s boundary. Information Commissioner Office provides guidance about using CCTV in your home: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/domestic-cctv-systems-guidance-for-people-using-cctv/
Make sure to have a clearly visible sign about the cameras and alarm systems. They’re no good as a deterrent if no-one knows they’re there.
Lights on timers are a good deterrent. Different lights coming on at different times in different rooms makes it seem someone is home.
Safes and secure locations
Make sure jewellery and other lightweight valuables are kept in a secure location, not in plain sight. And if appropriate, consider a heavy safe that makes the items even harder to obtain.