Keep safe this winter

We want to keep you, your family and property safe during the winter months and there are some proactive, practical measures that you can take to reduce the chances of things going wrong.


Dark evenings provide the perfect cover for burglars who have a ‘radar’ for spotting an open window or valuables through open curtains or blinds.

They’ll even try their luck with an unlocked door. These top tips are some proactive, practical measures that you can take to reduce the chances of things going wrong:

Keep you, your family and property safe by:

  • If you’re going out, lock up and lights on: Try to make your house look as occupied as possible, use a light timer and close curtains and blinds
  • Even if you are in, lock your front door and windows from the inside. Some front doors are often left unlocked when people are in and burglars know this!
  • Hiding all keys out of sight and away from the letterbox - a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox
  • Before answering the door, stop and think - are you expecting anyone? Remember, not all burglars wear a balaclava
  • Keeping ladders and tools stored away - leaving them outside means they could be used to break into your home
  • Marking your property and register it for free, online with Immobilise
  • Storing any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a secure place or safe
  • Considering installing a house alarm and security lighting

For more information about how to protect your property visit our Burglary pages and download the burglary factsheet.

Car theft

It takes a few seconds to steal from a vehicle, secure your car by:

  • Always locking your car, even if you’re only leaving it unattended for a moment
  • Avoiding leaving items on display in your car
  • At home, keeping car keys out of clear view from windows or in reach from the letter box - a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox
  • Not leaving the engine running with the keys in the ignition, especially in frosty weather
  • Parking where your car can be well seen in a well light area, even if it means walking a bit further
  • Considering steering locks, alarms, tracking devices and immobilisers as deterrents
  • If you have a garage, use it

Keeping your keyless vehicle safe

Vehicle crime is an occupation for some criminals, protect your car by:

  • Storing your keys away from household entry points and;
  • Keeping your keys in a Faraday Bag (which can be purchased online) to prevent your signal being intercepted and your vehicle stolen
  • Avoiding leaving keys in the fridge, microwave or a tin. These methods are unlikely to be effective and instead damage the key/s
  • Reviewing your car security: Check for security devices such as steering locks, trackers or updated security software from your car dealership

For more information, including tips on securing motorbikes, mopeds and bicycles, visit our Vehicle Crime pages.

Street robbery

When out and about feel safe by:

  • Being aware of your surroundings when using a cashpoint
  • Covering the keypad with your hand so that your pin number is shielded
  • If the machine looks as if it has been tampered with or is damaged in any way do not use it
  • Always use routes you know well that are lit and busy
  • Trying not to unnecessarily use your phone or tablet in crowded places - it takes seconds for a thief to grab it from you
  • Making sure your bag is fully closed and that wallets are kept inside jacket pockets to reduce the risk of so called ‘dipping’ thefts

For more information about staying safe when out and about, visit our staying safe when out and about pages.