Keep Your Home Safe

Message from Sgt Gloyn from Gloucestershire Police
In light of a few recent incidents I have been asked to provide some advice on simple steps that students living off campus can take to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of crime where belongings are stolen.
The first and most obvious is to ensure that your house or flat is locked while unoccupied and that the property has good locks. If you are in doubt about the security of your property we would welcome hearing from you and a member of the Safer Community Team would be happy to come and survey the property free of charge. This would give you useful ammunition with which to approach your landlord to ask for better locks. Don’t leave high value items at your student accommodation when you head home at the end of term, take them with you.
Other steps that you could consider include using timer switches on lights and a radio within the house. This is so simple but can give the house the appearance of being occupied during long dark evenings while you are studying in the college library! Try not to allow much rubbish to accumulate outside the address. This could give the appearance that the occupants are away and invite an attempt to break in. When you do put your rubbish outside try not to put the boxes for expensive items in open view near your bins. This advertises the high value goods that you have just bought. Collapse the boxes and get them into recycling containers or bins so prospective thieves cannot see them.
Make sure that you keep any out buildings, particularly sheds, secured. At the moment there is a spate of bicycle thefts taking place in and around Cirencester. Make sure that your bike is identifiable and secured with a good quality lock.
If you see anyone acting suspiciously around your property or one of your neighbours then phone us immediately using 101, or 999 if you think they are in the act of breaking in. Don’t wait to report it. Do it straight away as there may be an officer just around the corner who could catch the individual. Where you are unfortunate and you find that your house has been burgled phone the police immediately on 101. Try not to touch anything until the police arrive, particularly around the point of entry or exit used by the thief. Go so far as to think about where the thief has been walking and don’t walk there yourselves. We hold information about the footwear used by our burglars and can recover footwear impressions that you will not be able to see with the naked eye. But in order to do we need you not to have walked on those shoes marks yourselves.
Lastly, if you are the victim of a theft it is worth spending a little time checking several websites for your stolen goods. The Police will be doing this too but you are far more likely to recognise items belong to you. Sites to consider looking on include ebay, Gum Tree and Facebook. If you do see your stolen belongings listed for sale try to avoid contacting the seller. Tell the police instead. We have procedures in place with sites such as ebay so that they will provide us with the account holder details of the person listing stolen items.
Thanks for your attention.

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