Each month I will be writing a column about issues which impact both police and our local community with the goal of providing information and ideas to make a safer community.
The first of these topics will relate to ways to miniminse theft around your home. Recently, a number of reports were received by Singleton Police regarding thefts from yards, sheds and within homes around Singleton and surrounding areas. Sometimes, these things are unusual and cause a general inconvenience such as a recent theft of a front door mat and some irrigation pipe which was taken from a yard. Other items which are often subjected to theft include power tools, lawn mowers, gardening equipment and camping/outdoor equipment. Having these items stolen can be very upsetting and even traumatic for some victims. Knowing that a stranger has entered their property and taken items which have been purchased or gifts makes victims rightfully angry and upset.
There are six important steps which can be taken to protect your home and minimise the chance of your property being stolen:
Walk around the exterior of your home and check out weaknesses. Lock windows, doors, garden sheds, gates and garages. While walking around the outside check that valuables on the inside cannot be easily seen.
Keep shrubs and trees trimmed. This eliminates the opportunity for would be criminals to hide and keeping trees pruned reduces the ability to climb to gain potential access to windows or second storeys.
Put locked cars, motorbikes and bicycles away and locked in the garage where possible. Use coverings on shed and garage windows to deter people looking inside.
Get to know your neighbours. Neighbours who get to know you are more likely to look out for your home and will get to know the people coming and going and will also notice if someone or something doesn’t look quite right. If you are going away, get your neighbour to keep an eye on your home for you.
Keep your mailbox empty, bring in your bins and keep the lawn mown as these simple chores tell potential thieves that you are home.
Think about installing sensor lighting and even home security. This allows better visibility for you, neighbours and police driving past. Cameras are useful in capturing details of any intruders and may deter persons entering yards.
If you do have something stolen report it. This can be done by contacting the Police Assistance Line on 131444 where a formal report will be taken and the details forwarded to local police. If you think there is physical evidence, do not touch anything and let the operator know so you can be contacted by a Scene of Crime Officer.
Finally, if you hear or see something, report it at the time as this is the best chance for police to try and speak to someone and prevent a crime from occurring. If you see a crime happening, call 000, otherwise contact Singleton Police on 6578 7499. You can also call Crime Stoppers with information where you can remain anonymous:
Inspector Schultz, OIC Singleton Police Station, Hunter Valley Police District