Heating and Diesel Oil Theft

Following the heating oil security advice below, could reduce the chances of you being a victim.

Theft of heating and diesel oil has been a problem for many years and the police have noticed an increase in this type of crime whenever the price of crude oil rises.  A rise in the price of fuel at the petrol pump inevitably leads to a rise in the costs of heating oil.  This makes oil a more attractive proposition for thieves who are targeting fuel tanks at farms, transport depots and domestic properties.  The thieves may be using the oil for their own central heating or selling it on at a handsome profit.

Tanks can contain many thousands of pounds worth of oil and it therefore makes good sense to take a few precautions to protect them.  The purpose of this information is to give the reader a few ideas about what can be done to make life more difficult for thieves.

Read more: Heating and Diesel Oil Theft

Home Security

We're urging you to check your home security to help prevent a rise in burglaries over the winter months. Dwindling hours of daylight and the Christmas period often combine to result in more break-ins.

In the three months from August to October last year, there were 569 dwelling burglaries in the county, compared to 628 during the following three months (November-January), a rise of more than 10 per cent.

We are prioritising burglary as part of a new campaign called Operation Hunter and officers are combining prevention work with catching and putting offenders before the courts. As part of the operation, we're also urging everyone to do their bit by taking precautions and making their home unattractive to burglars.

Taking security steps at home and remembering to always leave your windows and doors locked is a great start but we would also ask people to keep their eyes and ears open and report any suspicious activity.

Information we receive from the public is crucial and people should never hesitate to report something that appears unusual or suspicious.

For more burglary prevention advice, see below or visit our web pages and online home survey tool at http://ow.ly/V6uf4

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Regards

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Branston

 

Click here to take the Home Security Survey


Always keep doors and windows closed and locked or in a ventilated but locked position, even when they are inside the house. Always check and lock doors with a key - never assume that just pushing up an internal handle will lock the door.

Remove keys from window and door locks, but keep them in a familiar and safe place where all members of the family know where to find them in the event of an emergency.

Never leave items such as keys, bags, presents and money on show through a window.

Consider the position of key racks or shelves next to a door and ensure that they cannot be reached through the letter box.

Use timer switches to turn on lights and radios when you are going to be away from your house at dusk.

Consider the use of lights at the front and rear of your property that are activated when someone approaches.

Consider the use of bolts and padlocks on side gates. Place the bolts at the top, middle and bottom of the gate, as just a top bolt might be easy to reach and open.

A visible intruder alarm box can prove to be one of the biggest deterrents to an opportunist burglar, so consider installing a DIY or supplier installed system.

Winter Burglary Prevention

After the clocks go back we start thinking about the darker night’s drawing in. Traditionally there is a rise in burglaries in the winter period, especially during the run up to Christmas and it is sensible to think about your home security.

You can reduce the risk of being a victim of burglary by following four simple steps:

  1. Leave a light on inside your home when you are absent, preferably using a low energy bulb.
  2. Use a timer switch to activate lights as it gets dark, alternating the times they are illuminated to give the impression of someone being at home.

  3. Make sure your front door is well lit using dusk to dawn lighting that automatically comes on as it gets dark.

  4. Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times.

 

In addition, we would advise you to take these security tips:

  • Register valuable items with a serial number at www.immobilise.com and add a photograph.
  • Do not leave your car keys, handbags, wallets or mobile phones near doors, letterboxes or windows.
  • Never leave keys in the door if you have a cat flap or letter box.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight. Burglars will be looking through windows for items of value.
  • Install a visible burglar alarm with a box on the front and rear of yoru property.
  • Keep gates and sheds locked.
  • Store your wheelie bins behind secure side gates to prevent them being used as climbing aids.
  • Increase the height of your back or side fencing by adding diamond style trellis topping which is difficult to climb.
  • Plant spiky plants in vulnerable areas.
  • Think about getting a driveway alarm – this is a cheap and effective deterrent which can be switched on at night when you go to bed to protect against anyone entering your drive or garden.
  • If you are lucky enough to be going away on holiday, do not post your holiday plans or movements on social-networking sites.
  • Subscribe to your local Neighbourhood Watch

 

Making Your Home Safer

We continue to have thefts and burglaries

The police work hard to catch the offenders but please remain vigilant and do everything you can to make your home safer.

 What can you do? 

It's important to make your home as protected as possible to ensure that it is a safe place

  • Make sure all points of entry to your home or property have locks. 
  • If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the handle, lock it with the key and remove it - LIFT - LOCK - REMOVE.  
  • Put keys in a safe place out of sight in case of fire.
  • Make sure you lock up before going to bed at night. 
  • Don't leave your keys in doors and windows or hanging within easy reach of the front door. 
  • When you leave the property, no matter for how long, make sure that entry points are all locked.
  • Windows that are left insecure or partially open are often used as a means of entry into your home.
  • Think about further security measures - a fence, burglar alarm or security lights likely to deter burglars. They can also decrease your insurance payments.
  • To help you feel secure when answering your door, fit a spy hole so you can see who is calling. You should also fit a door chain.
  • Don't let anyone into the property that you feel unsure about, and always ask to see identification if they don't have any, do not let them in.

Protect your Home

There’s plenty you can do to imrpove home security. The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Bumblebee website is packed with useful advice including a Virtual House Tour that highlights vulnerable areas of your home, as well as dedicated sections on windows, doors, lighting, gardens, alarms and apartments.

Here are the Met’s Top 10 tips for securing your home:

  • Don’t leave your keys or ID documents within easy reach of doors, letterboxes or windows.
  • Close and lock all doors and windows. If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the handle, lock it with the key and remove it. Remember - LIFT - LOCK - REMOVE. Put the key in a safe place out of sight in case of fire.
  • Lock garages and sheds so garden tools and ladders can’t be used to break into your home.
  • Keep side gates locked and wheelie bins stored behind them.
  • Use timer switches linked to lights and a radio so it appears that someone is at home.
  • Invest in a safe for valuables and sentimental items, and securely fix it to a solid surface.
  • Install a visible intruder alarm system – burglars don’t want to be seen or heard.
  • Install low level ‘dusk till dawn’ lighting to increase visibility and deter burglars.
  • Keep side and rear boundaries high to restrict access and front boundaries low to
  • remove hiding places.
  • Photograph and mark valuables and sentimental items with your postcode and house number/name. Register items with serial numbers at the national property register Immobilise.