Crime Prevention

Stevenage Community Safety Partnership is a multi-agency partnership working together to keep Stevenage safe. Although crime generally remains quite low in Hertfordshire, there are certain steps you can take to stay safe and prevent yourself becoming a victim of crime. Please take the time to read through the following crime prevention advice.

Home safety

  • Check all doors are locked and all windows, including upstairs windows, are secure before you go out.
  • Make sure you correctly lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it with the key before you go to bed or leave your home.
  • Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep boundary fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders or tools outside as they could be used by a burglar to break in.
  • Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home.
  • At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any thieves.
  • Postcode marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a property database like Immobilise can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if stolen.

Vehicle safety

  • It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows and sunroof whenever you leave your vehicle unattended.
  • Never leave any valuables in your vehicle, not even in the boot or glove compartment, and keep all other items out of sight.
  • Don’t forget to remove your Sat Nav and its holder, and wipe away suction marks as these could suggest to a thief that there are valuable items stored in your car.
  • Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have them.
  • Look out for car parks with a ‘Secured Car Park’ sign which have recognised levels of security.
  • If you have a garage at home, make sure you use it and lock it properly.
  • Registering your Sat Nav and any other valuables on the free online property database Immobilise you can increase the chances of your property being recovered if stolen.

Street safety

  • Plan ahead – before you go out, think about how you are going to get home, e.g. can you travel with a friend? What time does the last bus/train leave?
  • Avoid danger spots – these include quiet alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted.
  • Try to use busy streets and use the route you know best. 
  • Focus on your surroundings – if you’re chatting on your mobile phone or wearing headphones, you will not hear trouble approaching.
  • If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action. Make for a busy area and tell people what is happening. Call the police if necessary.
  • Beware of people that offer to accompany or take you home – never accept a lift from a stranger.
  • Try not to keep your valuables in one place – it is a good idea to keep valuables, such as your wallet, in an inside pocket.
  • Consider carrying a personal safety alarm, which can be used to shock and disorientate somebody if you ever feel threatened.

For more advice and support on personal and street safety, please visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website.

Online safety

  • Don’t post any personal information online - like your address, email address or mobile number. Use a nickname – if you are signing up to a site like Twitter or Instagram, consider using a nickname instead of your real name. You may also wish to set up a separate personal email account to use with social media sites.
  • Be aware – remember that not everybody online is who they claim they are. Do not meet up with people you have met online.
  • Think carefully about what you post online – respect other peoples’ views, even if you disagree with them.
  • Think carefully before posting pictures online – once you have posted a picture, most people can see it and are able to download it. Avoid photos of your home, work or places you are associated with.
  • Keep privacy settings high – use privacy settings on social media sites so that only friends and family can see your pages.
  • If you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried, leave the website, turn off the computer and tell a trusted person immediately.

For free, expert advice about online safety please visit Get Safe Online.

Fraud safety

  • Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
  • Never give anyone your credit or debit card PIN – only use it for typing into an ATM or when making a card payment using a secure chip and PIN machine.
  • Many frauds start with a phishing email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will never send you an email asking you to confirm your bank details.
  • Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on and post with your name and address on. Identity fraudsters don’t need much information in order to be able to clone your identity.
  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.
  • Sign up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code whenever you are given the option while shopping online. This involves you registering with your card company for additional security on online transactions.
  • If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven’t bought, or financial institutions you don’t normally deal with contact you about outstanding debts, your identity may have been stolen.
  • You should regularly get a copy of your credit file and check it for entries you don’t recognise. Callcredit, Equifax and Experian can all provide your credit file.

To get more advice on fraud or to report a fraud online, visit Action Fraud or the Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service website

Bogus callers

Distraction burglary is a crime in which someone will gain access to your property under false pretences and attempt to distract you while they carry out a burglary. Hertfordshire Constabulary has a dedicated team of officers who investigate distraction burglary. The team is called Operation Manhunt and their work has helped to drastically reduce incidents across the county.

Criminals use various means to gain access to homes, such as pretending to be from ‘the water board’. If you are not sure, don’t open the door and call police if you feel the caller is suspicious.

  • Never let unknown callers you are not expecting into your home, whatever excuse they may give.
  • Find a way to communicate through the door, without opening it, or look through a spy hole.
  • If you have arranged an appointment with someone, check their ID first before you let them in.
  • Don’t be pressured into letting someone into your home if you have suspicions.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the house.
  • Don’t believe scare stories. Not all callers are genuine.

If you or someone you know is a victim of door-step crime, please contact the police on 101, or phone 999 in an emergency.

For more information on bogus callers and home security, click here.

Please visit www.herts.police.uk for further crime prevention advice and to find out more about how your local Safer Neighbourhood Teams are working to keep the area in which you live safe. You will also find details about what events are being held in your area and how you can contact your local team. Alternatively, contact police via the non-emergency number 101.

Always dial 999 in an emergency

Contact details

Community Safety
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
Danestrete
Stevenage
Herts
SG1 1HN

community.safety@stevenage.gov.uk