Shocking new figures reveal that while crime rates are rising in Sunderland, conviction rates are falling. We look at innovative ways to keep homes and businesses secure.
The official crime statistics for 2017 showed that in the city there were 32,374 reported crimes of robbery, burglary, arson or criminal damage, but of these, only 6.22% were solved, with the offender caught and punished.
Taking sensible precautions can mean you won’t have to make that phone call to the police and you won’t have the stress and inconvenience that being burgled brings - so we asked home security experts ProtectMyProperty.co.uk for some top tips.
With a combination of taking simple, practical steps, and investing in a good security system, there is no need for you to become another statistic in the pile of unsolved cases.
1. You’re three times more likely to get burgled if you post holiday pics on social media, so don’t post any pictures until you’re home. If you just can’t wait to tell everyone about the holiday, ake sure you change your privacy settings so only friends can view your content.
2 Burglars are very resourceful and don’t go around with stepladders and crow bars – they use what they can find, so don’t give them any opportunities. Lock up outbuildings and hide anything that could help them break in, such as tools, ladders and wheelie bins.
3 Leave some curtains open – having them closed during the day can alert burglars that you’re away. In the summer a timed light isn’t needed but if you have a friend or neighbour who ould keep an eye on the property, ask them to pop in and make sure there are no obvious signs that no-one is there. Burglars have an eye for detail, so you need to have too.
You might consider Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service – they can hold your mail for up to two months while you’re away.
4. If you don’t have one already, consider buying a decent security system. If you do, think about updating it so that you can view your home and switch the alarm on and from your smartphone. The latest technology means you can view CCTV footage live; remotely activate and deactivate alarm systems; switch on the lights in your house; change alarm codes and deactivate entry fobs when no longer in use; and receive alerts if your alarm is breached or triggered. Some systems allow you to nominate a trusted person to be notified when the alarm goes off.
5. Make sure your personal information is hidden away too. It can be just as valuable to a burglar. Thieves tend not to take large, bulky items like televisions but they will target laptops which are not only easy to carry but might also contain valuable information, so make sure it is password protected. This is vital for businesses where lots of information can be held.
6. Always look for an NSI-approved installer so you can have confidence that the alarm system is fitted safely and securely to exacting industry requirements. It can sometimes get you money off your home insurance too.
7. And if your alarm does go off, you can also have an alarm system that is monitored, so the police are notified of any potential intruder. A good security company will provide emergency cover 24/7 with a maximum wait of 4 hours.
To find out about what’s available in the Sunderland area visit www.protectmyproperty.co.uk or call 0800 004 999 and get a free security survey for your home or business.