1. Check Natural Surveillance: For Crime Prevention, the view of your house from the road and your neighbours is vitally important. Is the view to the front and rear obscured by vegetation in your garden?

Cut down or trim trees, shrubs and undergrowth to open up the view. Avoid letting plants grow taller that 4ft. This will DEPRIVE THE BURGLAR OF COVER! - Very important for deterring Opportunist burglars

2. Check Fences and Gates: Repair holes in fences. Fix flimsy trellis to the tops of the fence panels. They will break away under pressure, causing noise and inconvenience to the burglar.

Ensure that gates are locked and fit them flush to the front building line of the house. Burglars don't like having to climb over gates in full view of the road.

4. Be Aware of Upstairs Windows: Those adjacent to drainpipes or flat roofs are especially vulnerable. Use anti-climb paint. Follow the maker's instructions carefully and remember to comply with the Owners and Occupiers Liabilities Act.

The act states that if you know of something that could be a danger to other people who are on your property (whether they are there lawfully or not!) you must take steps to prevent injury. In other words, put up a notice!

6. Consider installing movement activated exterior lighting: 500w floodlights cost as little as £5.00. Those with motion detection start at around £10. They can be fitted by any reasonably competent person. Many can be run from a standard 13amp socket. Please consult a qualified electrician if you have any doubts.

Fit the units so that they illuminate the front of your house when you arrive home and ensure that the side and back of your house has optional lighting too.

 3. Protect weak spots in your boundary with prickly plants: Defensive planting is very effective. Prickly plants are a natural and very effective measure.(Select our page from the menu on the left for a selection of suitable varieties). Intruders are unable to climb over or through them without shredding their legs!

Use the same idea to protect your windows by planting underneath. Allow them to grow to window sill height before trimming.

 5. Ensure That All Outbuildings are Secure: Sheds and garages usually contain tools that enable burglars to force an entry to your home.

Screwdrivers, hammers, chisels, forks and spades are often used. They don't usually come equipped to commit the crime. Use good quality padlocks to secure shed doors.The fittings should be bolted through the wood into a 2mm steel plate.

Consider purchasing one of the new generation shed alarms. Most mail order companies and high street catalogue showrooms supply them.

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