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Darker nights safety advice from Derbyshire Police

Now that the clocks are going back and the darker nights are drawing in, we would like to remind Derbyshire residents to think about home security during the late afternoon and evenings.

Although our area continues to be a safe place to live, most burglaries are carried out by a thief who might use the darker evenings to check which homes are empty, have valuables on display or searching for any security lapses.

By taking some simple steps you can reduce this potential opportunity from happening to you:

  • Keep windows and doors locked and secure at all times, whether you are in or out of your home.
  • Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach of cap flaps, letterboxes, downstairs doors and windows.
  • Leave your car keys in a secure place and not on a key hook.
  • Use outdoor security lighting.
  • Make your home look occupied when you are out – draw your curtains, leave a lamp on or leave a radio playing.
  • If it will be dark before you get home, set your lights on timers.
  • Consider fitting a burglar alarm – make sure it is installed properly by a reputable firm and is working. Also remember to set it before you leave home.
  • A thorny hedge along the boundary of your property may put thieves off, as may a gravel path, as it’s noisy to walk on.
  • Keep gates, garages, sheds or outbuildings secure and ensure no tools are left outside.
  • Make sure your house is visible from the street – keep shrubbery and hedges at the front of the house pruned to below one metre to remove any cover for a burglar to work unseen and give your neighbours every chance to spot something suspicious.
  • Be careful when opening the door to unexpected visitors – prior to opening the door use a peep hole, window or a Ring doorbell to see who is visiting and use a chain on the door. Never let anyone in your house unless it is someone you know and trust – if unsure check their identification details by phoning the genuine telephone number from a company website or search engine, do not use a telephone number on a given ID card. Do not be tempted to deal with businesses who call at your door, both Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council hold lists of trusted and approved traders.
  • Never leave a spare key outside of your house – burglars know the usual hiding spots.

We encourage people to be a good neighbour and to contact the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously in your area on the below contact methods.

For further burglary prevention advice, please speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Reporting methods

Please get in touch using one of the following non-emergency contact methods.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999.

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