Clocks going back means darker evenings. Not a prospect that fills many of us with joy. In fact, some feel so strongly about it they’ve initiated campaigns to try to do away with it on safety grounds. But while the debate continues, the fact remains that hours of darkness increase at this time of year whichever end of the day they’re on. Unfortunately that’s something criminals take advantage of, which can make businesses and homeowners particularly vulnerable around now.

So what can you do to manage the risks?

1. Don’t attract a criminal’s attention

Criminals look for easy targets. They’re looking for signs that places might not be particularly well looked after as that gives them an indication that their job could be a whole lot easier.

So what attracts them? For starters, doors and windows that don’t look in good condition or non-existent or poor quality fencing.  Burglars want to commit an offence quickly and if they think it won’t take them long to get in, your property will appeal to them. So identify any weak areas and get them repaired. Make sure your gates don’t have the kinds of handles a criminal can use as a step. In the home environment you might want to consider putting trellis on top of fences and gates too; burglars hate it because it snaps loudly when they’re trying to climb over.

Burglars also like to know it’s worthwhile making the effort to break in. So keep any objects that could catch their eye out of sight. If you can’t move them, do your best to obscure the view by using curtains and blinds.

2. Make potential thieves feel exposed

It goes without saying that criminals do not want to be seen and sometimes we give them an unintentional helping hand by providing ideal locations to hide in. Dark areas or dense and overgrown vegetation give burglars a convenient place to conceal themselves while observing a property.

So cut back on excessive vegetation and improve visibility by installing security lighting in particularly vulnerable areas. Homeowners should use timers inside the house too. It’s also worth considering the use of a ‘fake’ TV light. It’s a small LED light designed to give the impression that a TV’s on to help make your home look occupied.

You could also install a CCTV system. They’re already popular in workplaces of all sizes and are a very cost effective deterrent to would-be thieves. CCTV cameras aren’t exclusively for work environments either. Increasing numbers of homeowners are opting to install them too for extra peace of mind.

3. Don’t help make a burglar’s life easier

Burglars are resourceful and they’ll use whatever they can find to get into your property as easily as possible. Dustbins. Large industrial wheelie bins. Tools from your badly secured shed. Ladders.  Loose bricks. Unfortunately, many materials and objects can assist a burglar with breaking in to your premises. You must secure or lock away anything that could potentially be useful to a criminal.

Make sure you have an effective, properly maintained burglar alarm installed too. Don’t be tempted to skimp on it; buy one from a reputable company and make sure you maintain it (and set it!) too.

Whether it’s at your workplace or at home, it’s very upsetting to be a victim of a burglary and taking at least some of the steps above will help reduce the risk of that happening. If you’d like some more guidance on the actions you can take to keep your home or workplace secure then do get in contact with us.