There are certain steps you can take to stay safe and prevent yourself becoming a victim of crime.
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.
You can take certain steps before you go out, such as:
- check that all doors and windows are secure;
- secure your rear garden, lock any gates and maintain fences;
- lock your shed and 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; and
- keep all loose valuables out of sight of any thieves.
Registering your Sat Nav and any other valuables on the free online property database Immobilise can increase the chances of your property being recovered if stolen.
You can take certain steps before you leave your vehicle unattended, such as:
- lock the doors, shut the windows and sunroof;
- never leave any valuables in your vehicle;
- don’t forget to remove your Sat Nav and its holder;
- use an approved steering lock or gear clamp; and
- car parks with a ‘Secured Car Park’ sign have recognised levels of security.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust provides advice and support on personal and street safety.
You can take certain steps to stay safe while you are out, such as:
- think about how you are going to get home;
- avoid alleyways, subways or isolated car parks;
- try to use busy streets and use the route you know best;
- if you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action;
- never accept a lift from a stranger;
- keep your wallet in an inside pocket; and
- consider carrying a personal safety alarm.
Get Safe Online provides free, expert advice about online safety.
You can take certain steps to stay safe online, such as:
- don’t post your address, email address or mobile number;
- use nicknames when using social media;
- don't meet up with people you have met online;
- think carefully about what you post online, including pictures; and
- keep privacy settings high.
You can report fraud at Action Fraud or Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service.
You can take certain steps to prevent fraud, such as:
- don't give any personal information including your PIN;
- be aware that many frauds start with a phishing email;
- destroy and shred receipts with your card details on;
- make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed;
- your browser is set to the highest level to prevent malware issues; and
- sign up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code.
If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven’t bought, or if 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.
Herts Police provide information on annoying phone calls or unwanted visits and home security.
Hertfordshire Constabulary has a dedicated team of officers who investigate distraction burglary; when someone gains access to your property under false pretences and attempts to distract you while they carry out a burglary. The team is called Operation Manhunt and their work has helped to drastically reduce incidents across the county.
You can take certain steps to make sure you are not a victim of burglary, such as:
- never let unknown callers you are not expecting into your home;
- find a way to talk through the door without opening it;
- check the ID before letting anyone in;
- if you have suspicions, do not let the person into your home; and
- don’t keep large amounts of cash in the house.
Using the Herts Police website, you can report a crime, get crime prevention advice and find out more about how your local Safer Neighbourhood Teams are working to keep your area safe to live in.
If you or someone you know is a victim of door-step crime, please contact the police on 101.
In an emergency, always phone 999.
Stevenage Borough Council