Crime prevention advice

Auto crime

Theft from motor vehicles

Most offences of theft from vehicle are opportunist. If valuable possessions (eg, handbags, laptops, sat navs, iPods, mobile phones, cameras) are left on show inside a vehicle, it is much more likely to be targeted by thieves. Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing.

  • When leaving your car, close all windows and lock your car.
  • Park your car in an attended car park.
  • Look for public car parks approved by the Park Mark scheme.
  • When parking at home, use your garage. If you don't have a garage, park in a well-lit area.
  • Don't leave anything on display in your vehicle.
  • Take all your personal possessions with you.
  • Remove sat nav holders and visible sat nav ring marks from windscreens.
  • Leave the glove box open to show there's nothing inside.
  • Fit an alarm or immobilizer to your car.
  • Record the details of your property on the Immobilise website.
  • Do not store your car's documents in the car.
  • Secure your wheels using locking wheel nuts.
  • Consider fixing your number plates with tamper proof screws. Limited stocks are available from the neighbourhood services team. Call 01753 475111, option 5, and ask to speak to one of the community project officers in the resilience and enforcement team.

For more advice on auto crime including driving security, buying and selling vehicles and protecting your vehicle see the Thames Valley Police Auto Crime web pages.

Alarms

You should only buy security devices or services that are approved. More information about alarms can be found on the Thatcham and Sold Secure website.

Burglary

Online home security survey

We recommend that you complete this online security self assessment home security survey on the crime prevention website which provides you with tailored home security recommendations for your home.

Summertime burglary

There is lots of useful advice and information on summertime burglary, alarms, CCTV, lighting, sheds, garages and home security, window and door locks on the Thames Valley Police home and garden security web pages

Burglary - general advice

  • Look out for your neighbours when they’re not home. If you see anything suspicious report it to the police and inform your neighbour. 
  • Ensure your home is secure, lock windows and doors and double lock UPVC doors using the keys. 
  • Don’t leave your home looking unoccupied, use timer switches to set lights to come on as it gets dark. 
  • Ensure all valuables are property marked using forensic marking e.g. Selecta DNA or Smartwater, or a UV pen. 
  • Ensure that all garden tools are securely locked away in a shed or garage. Do not leave them around for an offender to use to break in. 
  • If you do not have access to the internet to complete the survey above, contact your neighbourhood team who will be able to do a survey for you.

Distraction burglary

Distraction burglary is defined by the Home Office as 'any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used on an occupant of a dwelling to gain entry or try to gain, access to the premises to commit burglary'. The victim is often elderly and they may feel embarrassed, so offer them support and reassurance.

Advice to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of a distraction burglary:

  • Always use the door chain when answering the door, if you are not sure do not open the door.
  • Always check the credentials of unknown callers.
  • Do not phone the number on the ID card, use a phone book or a bill. 
  • Never employ cold-calling doorstep traders or engage with cold callers on the phone. 
  • Do not keep substantial sums of money in the home.
  • Always keep front and back doors locked.
  • LOCK STOP CHAIN and CHECK - if unsure do not open the door.

For more advice and information see the Thames Valley protect yourself from unexpected callers web pages.