Northamptonshire Police has launched Operation Crooked to tackle burglary, robbery and vehicle crime offences across the county.
Activity includes disruption and enforcement activity against known and suspected offenders, the publication of wanted appeals to identify and locate individuals, and increased patrols in key areas including Kettering, north-east and south-west Northampton.
Crime prevention advice is also being shared as part of Operation Crooked, to help everyone in our communities take positive action to reduce their risk of crime. Use the advice here to protect your home, your vehicle and yourself.
- Look at your home as a burglar would – if you were locked out, how would you get in? This will help you identify any weak spots where you need to improve your home security
- Keep external doors locked, even when you’re at home
- If you open a window, always close and lock it when you leave the room or go out
- Keep all keys out of sight and reach of letterboxes, pet flaps and downstairs doors and windows.
- Never keep a spare key hidden outside
- Make your home look occupied once darkness falls by using energy-saving lights with timers
- If you have an alarm system, use it. If you don’t, consider getting one. Having pets doesn’t mean you can’t fit an alarm. Find accredited installers at www.nsi.org.uk and www.ssaib.org
- Mark your property so it can be identified as yours and returned if stolen and recovered. Options include traceable liquids such as SmartWater® or a UV permanent pen. Find tested and approved security products at www.securedbydesign.com or www.soldsecure.com
- Register your property for free at www.immobilise.com
Preventing vehicle crime
- Before you get out of your vehicle, check nothing’s left out on seats, the dash, console, door pockets or in footwells. If you can’t remove items, lock them in the boot or a vehicle safe
- Close all windows and wipe away suction marks left by sat nav or phone holders as these may tempt thieves to break in to see if the device is still in the car. Put phone charging leads away for the same reason
- If your car has remote locking, always physically check the doors have locked before you leave it. Criminals nearby can use a jamming device to block the remote signal, leaving the car unlocked so they can get in once you have left
- Where you park matters. If you park in daylight and will be leaving your car until evening or overnight, consider how the area may look in the dark – will it be lit, will it be busy or secluded? Out and about, try to use car parks with Park Mark status - www.parkmark.co.uk
Preventing personal robbery
- Plan ahead before you go out. Know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and how you’ll get back. Let someone know where you’re going, and be prepared for a change of plan
- Keep your purse or wallet and keys close and secure. Only take out essential items, and if you can leave valuables at home, do
- When you’re out, always walk with confidence, and stick to well-lit, busy areas
- Remain aware of your surroundings – don’t walk along texting, making a phone call or listening to music. As well as being distracting, this advertises your valuable to criminals
- Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel safe then change your route, remembering to stay in well-lit and busy areas. Don’t be tempted to take short cuts
- Be a good friend and stay safe by sticking together. Always avoid walking alone at night
Report non-emergency crime and any suspicious vehicles or activity in your area to us on 101 or online at www.northants.police.uk/webform/online-crime-reporting. In an emergency, call 999.
For more detailed advice on a range of crime prevention topics, visit our main pages.