Domestic burglary is a distressing and devastating crime which can have a significant impact on

the whole family. Many burglars are opportunist thieves looking for homes or business premises that offer them the least risk of getting caught.

If you’re starting to plan in your spring clean or DIY projects, add these simple security measures to your to-do list:

Make a note of the serial number of any electrical goods 

Do you happen to know the make, model and serial number of your television?  Most of us don’t, but unless you’ve made a special effort to write the serial number down, then your stolen television would be no different from the millions of others stolen all over the country.

Install timers on light fittings 

Consider installing automatic switches to turn lights on while you are out in the evening, and remember to shut the curtains.

Consider installing an alarm system

The sight of an alarm box outside a home is an effective deterrent to burglars.  The sound of an alarm will cause most burglars to grab what they can quickly before making their escape without exploring the rest of the house – so remember to keep valuable belongings away from easy entrance points to your home.

Mark your property with ‘SmartWater’

A product that helps the police to return recovered stolen goods to their owners is SmartWater.  SmartWater contains metal-based chemicals that turn a green/yellow colour under UV light.  Since it’s invisible to the naked eye, burglars won’t know the belongings they’ve stolen are marked with SmartWater. The liquid can withstand direct, long-term exposure to sunlight, UV and bleaching, making it suitable for outdoor and indoor use.  You can mark your own property by purchasing a coding kit.

You can find out more about SmartWater at  You can also purchase subsidised  bottles from your local Police Station.

Don’t forget your shed 

Often, sheds contain valuable

gardening or sports equipment, but have flimsy  locks on the doors and no alarm system.  Fitting locks or bars to shed windows, replacing the screws in external hinges of your shed or garage side-doorwith ‘clutch-head’ screws (also  known as ‘anti-tamper’ or ‘coffin’ screws) and fitting lockable steel boxes or anchor posts to the floor to secure tools and equipment are all great places to start.  Marking tools and machinery with your postcode, and installing a battery or mains-powered shed alarm are also good ideas.

Stay informed 

There’s lots of ways that you can hear directly from Thames Valley Police about crime that’s happened in your neighbourhood.  You can follow us on Twitter (@ThamesVP/ @tvpsouthandvale), and Facebook (  You can also sign up for Thames Valley Alerts to hear advice and information specifically for your neighbourhood – sign up here 

By considering and acting upon the above advice, you will be taking some positive steps to protecting your home and property from burglars, and to reducing the fear of crime in your neighbourhood