Neighbourhood Watch schemes are groups of volunteers who work in partnership with the police and the local council and play an important role in the battle against crime. They distribute advice on security and safety within a designated area and help to make sure that elderly or vulnerable members of the community aren’t targets for criminals.
There are hundreds of Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Kent and Medway. To join a local scheme or for more information visit www.kcnwa.org or www.kent.police.uk/neighbourhoodwatch.
Crimestoppers is an independent charity, which provides a way for people to give information about a crime without revealing their identity. If you have information about a crime, call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You won’t be asked for your name, your call will not be traced or recorded and you don’t have to give a statement or go to court.
Contact Kent Police:
If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, call 999.
For all non-urgent crime reports or enquiries, call 101.
If you are deaf or speech impaired, text ‘police‘ then your message to 60066.
For more safety advice, details of your neighbourhood team or to find out about policing priorities where you live, visit www.kent.police.uk. Click here for Kent Police’s burglary advice factsheet.
CURRENT ADVICE FROM KENT COUNTY COUNCIL COMMUNITY WARDEN
Whilst North & West Kent remains a very safe place to live a lot of burglaries take place on the spur of the moment when a burglar sees an open window or another easy way in. You can take simple steps to avoid this type of opportunistic crime.
In your home
- Lock all windows and doors before you go out or go to bed
- Fit security measures such as intruder alarms, door chains and door locks. A spy hole lets you see who’s at your door
- Avoid labelling house keys in case you lose them and they fall into the wrong hands
- Don’t leave keys (especially car keys) or other valuables near doors or windows.
Around your home
- Make sure fences, hedges and gates are in good condition – this makes it difficult to enter your property
- Install external security lights (but make sure the lights don’t affect your neighbours and that alarms turn off after 20 minutes)
- Avoid leaving side gates open and make sure ladders and garden equipment that could be used to force entry are not left out
- Keep garages and sheds locked and alarmed
- Store bins carefully so that they cannot be used as a climbing aid
- Never hide spare house keys outside or in a shed
- Dispose of packaging carefully – wrapping and boxes you put outside your house on bin day advertises what you have in your house.
Sheds, Outbuildings, Garages
- Always put tools and equipment away safely – items left lying around outside could be stolen or used to help a thief break in
- Disable lawn mowers and other large machinery when not in use and chain items together to a solid anchor point
- Record details of your property (make, model, serial number and identifying marks) on the form overleaf and take photographs of items for easy identification
- Use close shackle padlocks to secure sheds and install shed alarms and security lights
- Register your valuables on the National Property Database –www.immobilise.com
- Security-mark your property using a UV pen or a forensic marking solution
- Ensure the screws are not accessible when using a hasp and staple lock or pad bolts
- Prevent unwanted visitors from entering your garden by maintaining hedges and fences
- Close your garden gate and lock it from the inside
- Use lockable hanging baskets or secure the baskets to their brackets
- Avoid leaving house doors and windows open or unlocked when working in the garden
If you are away from home
- Use timers for lights and radios – this will create the impression someone is home
- Cancel regular deliveries, such as milk and newspapers
- Make sure garden furniture is stored away and that sheds and garden gates are locked
- Ask a relative or trusted neighbour to pop in and move any post or junk mail from inside your door
- Arrange for the curtains to be opened and closed
- Offer your neighbours the use of your driveway
- Check your insurance policy – some policies don’t provide cover if you are away for more than 30 days
If you are unfortunate enough to come across an intruder in your home – contact 999 immediately
Tips on staying safe from fire:
- Make sure you fit, and regularly test, a smoke alarm. It is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any home.
- If you plan on using an open fire, make sure your chimney has been recently swept as build-ups of soot and ash can cause chimney fires.
- When going to bed, make absolutely certain that any open fire is either out, or pushed back into the grate and a guard used to prevent sparks setting light to carpets or furniture.
Interior doors should always be closed when going to bed as they can dramatically reduce the spread of fire.
Portable heaters should be dust-free and kept well away from anything that could catch fire.
Candles should always be placed on a non flammable surface, be away from soft furnishing like curtains and never be left unattended. It is far safer to consider using torches instead of candles.
- Before using an electric blanket, make sure it is under 10 years old, check it is working order and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
For further information or to learn more about the free advice and services on offer to residents contact KFRS on 0800 923 7000 or visit www.3breaths.info
Paul Harfleet – Kent Community Warden Service: M: 07969 584183 E: email@example.com
Co-ordinator: Peter Crossley, 01732 810801
Deputy Co-ordinator: Allison Barton, 01732 810709