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Home Security Tips for Leeds

Top tips to keep your Leeds home safe and sound.

Why Leeds is a burglary hotspot

A simple internet search of the term “Leeds burglaries” turns up a host of news articles about the rising numbers of house burglaries in West Yorkshire – something the news site Vice called an “epidemic” in March 2016. Indeed, according to UK police data reviewed in 2016, Leeds has the highest number of burglaries per capita of any significant police force in the country.

Why does burglary flourish in Leeds

In November 2016, a huge 2,250 burglaries were recorded among a West Yorkshire population of just over 2.2 million. The “LS” Leeds postcode has also featured consistently in an insurance comparison sites list of burglary hotspots over the last three years. An independent report by the Inspectorate of Constabulary in 2011 suggested that Leeds’ reputation for burglary may be the result of highly mobile populations (owing in part to Leeds’ high number of students), higher than average proportions of poor privately rented housing that may be more vulnerable and a network that facilitates the movement of stolen goods. A high number of students in a city can lead to more “petty” crime, thanks to the attractive mix of high-value items and a more lax attitude to security and property unfortunately associated with student life.

Fighting back against the crime wave

West Yorkshire Police ran an emotive campaign throughout 2016, featuring a series of viral videos showing children dressed as police officers giving common tips for protecting your home from thieves . It is not yet known how effective these types of campaigns by the local police force have been but it’s clear that the issue of burglary in Leeds continues to be a priority. The police are also keen to emphasise that burglaries increase in the winter months, when thieves take advantage of the increased cover of darkness.

Straightforward ways to protect your home from burglary

This may all make for bleak reading, but the good news is that there are some quick steps that you can take to make your home less attractive to burglars. Simply securely locking your doors and windows, moving valuables out of view and setting your alarm can make a huge difference. Many of them don’t involve any cost and can be implemented immediately, instantly putting you in a better position.

Home Security Tips for Leeds Households

Keep your doors and windows locked, even when you’re in

Burglars have been known to try front doors in the middle of the day and can be tempted by a window left ajar. Another common tactic involves distracting you at the front door while thieves simply open your back door and have a quick look around.

Hide your valuables

Leaving laptops, phones, keys, tablets and cash near a window can be a temptation too far for a prospective burglar. Always keep your valuables safely out of view, or consider blinds for big ground floor windows to stop people from seeing in.

Don’t leave keys in the lock or in reach of a letterbox or cat flap

You wouldn’t believe some of the implements thieves have used to reach in and hook keys. It can be tempting to keep keys close to or left in doors so you have an easy exit point, but unfortunately this can be an encouragement to opportunistic burglars looking for a way to get hold of your car keys or access your home. Keep them out of sight and far out of reach.

Look like you’re in when you’re out

Lights on timers can be a really effective deterrent for burglars considering whether to attempt a break in at night. If you’re going away on holiday, try to leave a set of keys and contact details with a neighbour you trust and ask them to keep an eye on your property for added peace of mind.

Join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme

Also a way of joining in with your local community, your local Neighbourhood Watch can be invaluable in keeping your area free from burglaries. Often working closely with your local police force, it can make a huge difference to your safety and security – as well as sometimes reducing your home insurance premiums.

Lighting – lights scare away burglars

At night, make sure that there’s sufficient lighting to cover the areas being monitored by CCTV.

Protect garages like you do your home!

If you have a garage connected to your house with an internal door, ensure the garage door is as secure as it can be, and if you have an alarm, that it is connected to it. Entering your house through the garage can be an easy way in for burglars. Use CCTV cameras to cover driveway and garage areas and protect from vandalism and car theft.

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