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Burglary can have a long-lasting emotional impact on victims, leaving them feeling isolated and vulnerable. However, by taking just a few simple measures you can reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Why might your home be targeted? Most burglaries tend to be opportunistic, rather than planned. Burglars usually choose houses that have little or no visible security. So if your home does not look secure, seems unlived in, or provides unobserved access, it could be at risk. Understanding what burglars look for when choosing their target will help you identify weak spots in your home's security.

In the majority of cases the objective of the burglars is to steal cash or jewellery. On every occasion the main bedroom is ransacked because burglars know that women usually leave their jewellery on their dressing tables. Even if they have had the foresight to hide it they normally do so in the main bedroom. Invariably the thief is successful in stealing the jewellery because he is fully aware of this practice.

Losing a valuable piece of jewellery is one thing but losing an item that has sentimental significance is much more distressing when you realise you probably won’t see it again.

We appreciate that not everyone can afford to install a safe in their house but there are two measures that everyone can take at little or no cost.

  1. Firstly, Do not hide your jewellery in the bedroom. The intruder will find it. Think of a location where they are unlikely to look and split it up so that, if they find one piece, they may not get it all. If you need further inspiration call us.
  2. Secondly, photograph your jewellery next to a ruler. Keep a copy of the photographs yourself and give another copy to a relative or friend. This will help the Police to search for your jewellery and they may come in useful if your insurance company decides to dispute your loss.  

You can also beat the burglars by taking just a few simple steps:

  • Make your home safe and secure by fitting 5 lever mortice locks on external doors and for all other doors and windows fit secure locks.
  • It is most important to take extra care when locking up particularly with regard to UPVC doors.  Lift the handle and lock the door with the key.
  • When you leave your property remove keys from locks and place them out of sight.
  • During the dark winter nights, make your property look occupied at all times by using automatic light timers, and, you might want to consider installing external lighting.
  • Nowadays burglars break into properties to steal car keys so avoid leaving car keys near a door or window where and lock your car in a garage or behind a locked gate if possible.

Essex Police have plenty of crime reduction advice on their website at or by contacting your local crime reduction officer on 0300 333 4444. Crime reduction officers offer free advice on crime reduction and if you are considering installing a burglar alarm will put you in touch with regulated alarm installation companies in your area.

The Community Safety Partnership (CSP) for Brentwood has produced a series of leaflets giving basic security advice for the home. The initiative came out of close working with our neighbouring districts of Epping Forest and Harlow as part of a series of measures to drive down house break-ins.