There are many ways you can help to prevent crime and stay safe in your home and when out and about.
Securing your home
You can help reduce burglary in the borough and keep your home and property secure by taking the right precautions.
Home security precautions:
- lock your doors and window whenever you go out
- upgrade your locks if you need to – and then use them
- your insurance may be invalid if you don’t use a mortice lock
- hide keys from sight
- install a visual burglar alarm and good outside lighting
- leave lights on in your house on a timer when you are out
- remember to keep patio doors locked
- ensure fences around your garden are in good condition
- store valuable items (including passports, driving licences, cash, wallets and bank statements) out of view
- secure bikes inside or in a locked garage or shed
- keep ladders and tools stored away
- never leave a spare key outside your house (such as under a flowerpot or doormat, or behind a loose brick)
- if you live in a building with a shared entrance, be careful who you let in, and don't hold the door open for strangers when you walk in or out of your building.
For more advice about the best way to keep your home secure, visit the Metropolitan Police Service website.
In most cases, vehicle crime is committed by opportunists who often take less than a minute to get into a vehicle. You can help keep your vehicle and property secure by following our security checklist.
Vehicle security checklist:
- close all windows including the sunroof
- lock all doors and activate any security devices even when leaving your vehicle for a few minutes
- check your doors manually as automatic locking devices can sometimes be affected by electroic interference
- don't leave items on display in your car including any shopping
- remove portable satellite navigation equipment when not in use and wipe the window where the cradle may have left a visible mark
- keep your car keys with you when you visit a petrol station or go shopping
- don't leave your car keys on view at home where they can be reached via the letterbox or an open window
- consider fitting anti-theft security systems
- consider fitting good quality locking wheel nuts
- get a steering or gearstick lock and pedal box to improve the security of your unattended vehicle
- park in your garage at home if you have one, and lock both your vehicle and your garage
- if you don't have a garage, try to park in a well-lit, open place
- register your bike online for free at Immobilise - this can help to return your bike to you if it is stolen
- insure your bike on your home insurance (if it is particularly valuable you may need to insure it separately)
- visit the Bikeminded website for more on bike safety.
You can help keep your motorbike secure by following our security checklist.
- park motorbikes and scooters in the designated bays and use good quality locks
- don't leave helmets and accessories with your vehicle
- use a secure motorbike or scooter cover to reduce the temptation to steal your vehicle
- secure the back wheel of your motorbike rather than the front, which is generally easier to remove.
The Council encourages motorcyclists to park in motorcycle bays rather than between cars in residents’ bays where they are vulnerable to being damaged and do not always make best use of space. All residents are only a few minutes’ walk away from a dedicated motorcycle bay, most of which are fitted with locking anchors. For more information including a map of motorcycle parking bays, see the Motorcycling parking page.
Personal safety when out and about
Read more about the precautions you can take when going out.
Personal safety when out and about:
- plan your route in advance avoid short-cuts that involve dark alleyways, parks or commons
- if you're carrying a bag, try to have it across your chest and keep your hand over the fastening
- be aware of your surroundings and what's going on around you
- avoid advertising your electronics; talking on a mobile phone, listening to an MP3 player or carrying a laptop bag may make you a target to thieves
- don't carry important documents or credit cards that you do not need
- avoid using cash machines at night
- only take your wallet out when you need to
- if you think you are being followed, cross the road or go into a shop and stay there until you are sure you're safe
- use licensed taxis only - to find a safe ride home, visit Transport for London
- you can register any consumer product that has a serial number for free at Immobilise - in case of loss of theft, your property can easily be identified and returned to you
- for advice on how to protect yourself and your family from identity theft, visit the Get Safe Online website
Using a cashpoint machine
Read more about the precautions you can take when using a cashpoint machine.
Staying safe when using a cashpoint machine:
- always be aware of people behind you, and cover the keypad with your hand
- don’t get distracted - thieves often try and divert your attention away from the cash machine so that an accomplice can take your card
- protect your PIN; cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN, and don’t let anyone persuade you to re-enter it
- check the cashpoint machine before you use it; look out for anything out of place, and any signs of tampering, especially above the keypad and around the card slot where glue or sticky residue may be present
- do not attempt to remove any device - if you suspect a cash machine has been tampered with, call the police on 101 or contact the bank immediately
- where possible, use a cash machine inside the bank
- check your statements regularly and notify your bank immediately if you suspect fraud
- securely dispose of statements or slips which contain your card details