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The £2 Crime Deterent (22/4/2008)


Next time you are walking after dark, try to spot which are the homes where no one is in. The most obvious clue is the absence of internal lights. If the law abiding can determine which homes are vulnerable, so can the burglar. For a period during the darker months burglars were targeting unoccupied residences in Haringey. Getting more police officers in the main hot spots was one way of tackling the problem but they cannot cover all areas 24 hours a day. Neighbourhood Watch came up with an alternative and long term solution in a joint venture. This was achieved by purchasing 650 timers which were then delivered to where they were needed by Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Each timer unit has a simple programme which will turn lights on and off convincing the opportunist thief the building is occupied.

If you do not already have a timer, maybe now is a good time to buy. This has got to be an excellent investment for any resident and all just for the price of a bag of chips. This is a lot cheaper than dealing with the emotional and financial aftermath of a crime.

Metropolitan Police Crime Prevention Officers offer some advice about using timers. “The wise precaution of leaving lights on while the occupants are out can substantially help to give the impression to a passer-by that someone is at home. As a minimum it is sensible to use a downstairs room that will suggest that the room is occupied”. It is sensible to use net curtains, blinds or shutters to prevent anyone getting a good look into the room. “A light should not be left on solely in the hall – a thief may guess that the premises are unoccupied as it is not normal for the occupants to spend all night in the hall. For the majority of cases security lighting will have the desired effect of deterring an intruder. But do remember lighting alone cannot work miracles. It is sensible to make sure you also use physical defences, locks, bars and bolts”.

Crime Pre
Next time you are walking after dark, try to spot which are the homes where no one is in. The most obvious clue is the absence of internal lights. If the law abiding can determine which homes are vulnerable, so can the burglar. For a period during the darker months burglars were targeting unoccupied residences in Haringey. Getting more police officers in the main hot spots was one way of tackling the problem but they cannot cover all areas 24 hours a day. Neighbourhood Watch came up with an alternative and long term solution in a joint venture. This was achieved by purchasing 650 timers which were then delivered to where they were needed by Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Each timer unit has a simple programme which will turn lights on and off convincing the opportunist thief the building is occupied.

This was the collaboration of excellent local knowledge from Watch members and analysing crimes by the local police to make a definite improvement in crime reduction. And at a surprisingly inexpensive £2 per household it is money well spent.

If you do not already have a timer, maybe now is a good time to buy. This has got to be an excellent investment for any resident and all just for the price of a bag of chips. This is a lot cheaper than dealing with the emotional and financial aftermath of a crime.

Metropolitan Police Crime Prevention Officers offer some advice about using timers. “The wise precaution of leaving lights on while the occupants are out can substantially help to give the impression to a passer-by that someone is at home. As a minimum it is sensible to use a downstairs room that will suggest that the room is occupied”. It is sensible to use net curtains, blinds or shutters to prevent anyone getting a good look into the room. “A light should not be left on solely in the hall – a thief may guess that the premises are unoccupied as it is not normal for the occupants to spend all night in the hall. For the majority of cases security lighting will have the desired effect of deterring an intruder. But do remember lighting alone cannot work miracles. It is sensible to make sure you also use physical defences, locks, bars and bolts”.

Crime Prevention Officers can provide further free advice.