Not all burglars break into homes – some will try to trick or con their way in. They are known as bogus callers and will pretend to be on official business from respectable concerns such as the Utility Companies – Gas, Electricity and Water – or the Council. They may claim to be tradesmen or workmen calling to carry out urgent repairs.
Bogus callers succeed because they sound believable, so don’t be fooled. Make sure in your own mind that they are whom they claim to be by following these simple steps:
- Think before you open the door – use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.
- Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry an identification card with their photograph on. Check this carefully. If you are unsure, telephone the company the caller claims to represent.
- The Utilities now offer a password identification system. Any caller from one of these companies should be able to give a pre-arranged password as additional proof of identity.
- Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere which may encourage you to leave your house – they may have an accomplice awaiting this distraction.
- If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return or ask the caller to contact this person.
- Treat every stranger with caution. If you are worried, dial 999 immediately and ask for the police.
With the weather steadily improving and with the nights getting longer, it is even more important that your garden is secure from would-be criminals. Making your garden more secure could prevent an intruder from getting into your home, garage or shed.
Hints and tips for securing your garden
- Installing strong fences or gates will act as a deterrent, preventing intruders getting into your garden.
- Ideally any gates, fencing, walls and hedges at the front of your house should not be more than 1.2m (4ft) so the front of your property can be seen by passers-by.
- A standard 1.8m (6ft) wall or fence at the back of your house is sufficient. Increase the height to 2m (6ft 6in) if there is public access on the other side – any higher than this will need planning permission.
- Trellis fixed to the top of a fence is not only decorative but can provide extra protection as it is difficult to climb over, breaking easily and noisily.
- If there is an access point to your garden at the side of your house a strong lockable gate will act as a deterrent.
- Garden gates should be at least the same height and strength as your fencing with hinges securely attached to the gateposts.
- Fit good quality locks to gates that cannot be reached from over the fence.
- Remember to always lock your gates.
- Planting prickly plants or a hedge, such as firethorn, climbing rose or hawthorn, around the perimeter of your garden can be a powerful deterrent. For more information about plants which can help protect your property go to (link to page on our internet site).
- Gravel on paths and driveways can act as an alert to someone coming towards your property.
- Install dusk to dawn security lighting. The low energy lamp stays on in the dark and switches off when it starts to get light.
- Secure garden furniture and wheelie bins so they cannot be used to climb on and gain access to upstairs windows.
- Do not leave ladders lying around – they could be used by thieves to climb into an upstairs window. Keep them locked in a garage/shed.
- Do not leave tools, gardening equipment or debris lying around in the garden as they could be used to smash windows.
- Keep your garden neat and tidy so it looks cared for.
- While working in your garden, make sure doors and windows are locked to stop unwanted visitors.
- Do not use barbed wire, razor wire or broken glass on walls or fences to protect your property – you could be held legally responsible for any injuries caused.
Mobile Phone Data Security
Buying and selling stolen and found mobile phones is big business for criminals; mostly because they are high value items, which are easy to steal and sell on.
Approximately 55% of people who report their phones as lost or stolen, cannot provide the phone’s unique reference number (IMEI).
To tackle thefts of small electrical products, Humberside Police is running a campaign to get people to register the details of their valuables, on to a free website, called immobilise.com.
Help us to help you!
Complete the attached form, which should take no more than a few minutes. You only need to provide your nominal details, make and model of your phone and your IMEI number.
Once you have done this, click on to the email address, which is email@example.com. The form will then be fired across to a dedicated SPOC box, which a member of Police staff will pick up and process the information. They will create a unique Immobilise account for you. You will later receive an email, which confirms your account details and password, so you can add your other property and valuables at a later date.
You can find out what your IMEI number is by typing *#06# into your handset