Crime Prevention Information

Bogus Callers

Unfortunately those at greatest risk from bogus callers are the most vulnerable, the elderly and those peoplethat live on their own, particularly women.

What is a bogus caller?

Many burglars will not go to the trouble of breaking in if they don't have to. Bogus callers at your door will pretend to be any one of a number of authentic callers. They may claim to be officials from the council, service companies, health authority or other similar organisations. They may pretend to be genuine dealers or salesman. They could impersonate workmen and say they need access to your house to check something or have to make urgent repairs and charge you for this. Even young children may be used to gain your trust.

These types of bogus callers all want to steal from you!

Most callers at the door are genuine, but some are not. Therefore it is very important to remember some helpful hints to follow in your home before opening the door to any caller on your doorstep.

How to check that callersare genuine

  • Think before you open your door - are you expecting anyone?
  • Use a door viewer and put the chain on before opening the door.
  • Ask the caller for proof of identity - most callers will have an identity card. Check it carefully, but keep the chain on.
  • If the caller does not have an appointment, tell them to wait outside while you ring their office to confirm their identity
  • Some service companies operate a password system to verify the callers status.
  • Look at the callers clothing, some official callers will have a uniform bearing their organisations name or logo. Their vehicle may also have their organisations name on it.
  • If you have any suspicions at all - do not let the caller in, dial Police 999

Neighbourhood Watch

One of the ways to make your community safer is to join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. The aim of Neighbourhood Watch is to help people protect themselves and their properties, reduce fear of crime and improve their local environment.

If you are interested infinding outwhether there is a NeighbourhoodWatchscheme running in your area you can contact:

Chesterfield & District Neighbourhood Watch Office

Tel:01246 522331 or come along to your next'Cracking Crime' Event.

Your Home

Make it Difficult for the Burglar!

Most burglaries are carried out by opportunist thieves. In two out of ten burglaries there is no force used - burglars have got in through an open door or window. Look at your home through a burglar's eyes!

  • Are there places where they could break in without being seen?
  • Have you fitted strong locks on your doors and windows?
  • Would they have to make a lot of noise by breaking glass?


Windowlocks that are easily seen may put off some thieves as they would have to break the glass to get in. Window locks should be fitted to all downstairs windows, windows hidden from a street view and easy to reach upstairs windows. Even small windows need locks - a burglar can get through any gap that is larger than your head.

Remember -remove keys from locked windows and keep them, out of sight.


If your front and back doors are not secure, neither is your home. Make sure that doors and door frames are in good condition - doors should be at least 44mm thick. Glass panels on or around doors are especially vulnerable - try to replace with laminated glass.

Fit front and back doors with five-lever mortice deadlocks and make sure you use them. (Before fitting locks to UPVC doors check with installer to make sure this will not affect your warranty).

Remember -never hang a spare key inside the letterbox,under the doormat, or in a flowerpot- theseare obvious places that a thief will check!

Burglar Alarms

If a burglar can see a burglar alarm, it will make them think twice about breaking into a property.

Rememberif you are thinking of installing a burglar alarm, you should:-

  • Ask your local police crime prevention officer for advice before you buy an alarm
    Tel: 01246 522024
  • Get a number of quotes and specialist advice from alarm companies supplying alarms
  • Talk to your insurance company about the alarm companies they recommend
  • Get professional help to install the alarm to make sure that it will work properly.


Good lighting can put off a thief! Some outside lights have an infra-red sensor to switch lights on for a short amount of time when it detects something moving nearby.

Remember -make it look like you're at home when you're not, most burglaries happen when your property is empty!

  • use time switches to turn on lights,TV and other appliances when you're out.
  • keep all valuable items out of sight
  • don't advertise your absence when you're on holiday, at work or shopping.
  • If you can get a friend or neighbour to look after your home while you'reaway

Garages and Sheds

Often full of expensive tools which are ideal for breaking into the rest of the house - and are often left unlocked!

  • never leave a garage or shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house
  • fit strong padlocks to shed and garage doors, and make sure that the doors are solid enough not to be kicked in.
  • lock ladders inside your garage or shed to stop a thief using them to reach upstairs. If there is no room in either of these, chain and padlock them horizontally to a sturdy bracket on an outside wall
  • Consider having lockable steel boxes fitted to the floor to store your tools in.

Property Marking

Property marking is your second line of defence against thieves!

Marking your property is one of the easiest and effective ways of protecting your possessions. By marking your property it let's others know that the item has been stolen, making it more difficultfor the burglar tosell on. It also makes tracing and returning your stolen propertya lot easier for the police.

"If it's worth taking - it's worth marking!"

Take a good look around every room in your home as well as outside in your garage and/or shed. Consider all the things you would be sorry to lose or find hard to replace - then mark them!

Remember that anything useful or attractive is re-saleable. For example - all your electrical equipment and mechanical goods, household appliances, pictures, ornaments, antiques and silver. Anything easy to move and carry!

Marking is easy - Always mark your property with your postcode and house number! Two Main Types of Property Marking:

Permanent Marking- engraving and punching identifies your property for good. Tools and kits can be boughtfrom DIY shops and ironmongers.

Invisible Marking-this marking is the best method for antiques and other valuable items that would lose value if spoiled by permanent marking.Property is marked by usinga UV marker penthat is'invisible' to the eye. The mark is however visible using a UV lamp that police use to scan allrecovered property. Invisible marking is a deterrent to burglars if you use the stickers from policesaying 'property in this homehas been marked' and place them anywhere a burglar might force entry.

It is worth keeping an inventory of all your household possessions to be sure to mark the things that youown, including items kept in your shed and garage. This will make the process ofupdating and renewing property marks easier.

Your Car

Vehicle Crime is a serious problem! For further information click on the following link:Vehicle Crime

Car Key Crime

Car thieves are increasingly turning to new methods of car crime, particularly "key crime". Key crime meansstealing the keys to the car first, rather than having to breakinto the car, they break into the house for the keys.

Quick Tip:even if you are taking the shopping from theboot of your car into the house, NEVER leave your keys in the car or anywhereeasily accessible. A thief will take any opportunity that you give them.

Make sure that your car keys are kept in a secure place at home and at work. Burglars will break into houses and offices just to steal car keys. At home, don't be in the habit of leaving your car keys close to the front door where they can be seen!

Car Contents

Any possessions left in your car is at risk of being stolen. Apart from car stereos, the most common items stolen from a car are clothes, CD's, tools, laptops, mobiles, bags, briefcases, sunglasses and credit cards; usually because these are left in plain view for all to see.

Many modern car stereos have security built -in, e.g. removable front on stereos. Make sure that you use this feature even if you leave your car for a short time. Another built-in feature includes security coding, make sure you keep a noteof the code number somewhere safe in your house and never anywhere inside your car.For stereos that you are unable to detach,make sure youmark it (see property marking)withyour vehicle registration number and postcode. Fit a security device, such as a car alarm and choose a good place to park (see parking your car)to reduce chances of someone breaking in to your car.

Parking your Car

Where and how you park your car can be important for your own security, and that of your car.

Secured Car Parks- is the status given to car parks across the UK if they achieve a police standard of security and safety. This would include implementing a certain standard of lighting and surveillance. This has proven to reduce car crime across the UK by 70%.

If you can't find a secure car park in the area you wish to park, for your own safety and security park somewhere that is quite busy and well lit at night.

At home- Consider fitting security lights outside your home to light up the space where you park at night. If you have a garage use it and secure it.

Car Security Rating- your choice of car is influenced by a number of things - price, design, safety, economy or special features. Security is now a significant factor in the car-buying process. The UK insurance industry has introduced its own star rating system know as the New Car Security Rating (NCSR). This rating shows how well a specific car stands up to an attempted 'theft of' (stealing the car), and 'theft from' (stealing contents of the car).

The testers are keen to stress that the biggest factor in car theft is opportunity - good design and anti-theft devices make less difference if security measures are not used and valuables are left on display in the car.

Out and About

If you are often out and about on your own or in the dark, here is some simple precautions you and your family can take to keep safe.

  • Carry a personal attack alarm, these are available andfree to pensioners at your local Cracking Crime event
  • If you carry a bag, keep it close to you with clasps and zips inwards
  • Keep your house keys in your pocket so that if your bag is stolen, the thief won't have your house keys and address
  • If you think you are being followed, check by crossing the street once or twice to see if they are still following. If this seems to be the case, go to the nearest place with people. Avoid using a phone box as this could be used to trap you inside.
  • On parks and commons keep to the main pathways and open spaces, try to avoid wooded areas
  • If you wear a personal stereo remember that this prevents you from hearing someone approaching behind and traffic
  • Try to avoid shortcuts through dark alleyways
  • Walk facing the traffic so a car is not able to pull up behind you
  • Do not hitch hike or accept lifts from strangers
  • Cover up expensive looking jewellery and keep mobile phones and wallets/purses hidden away
  • At cash machines don't let anyone see your personal identification number

Formore detailed informationon crime prevention,click on the links below:

The Home Office is the government department responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales.

Derbyshire Constabulary Website

NNWA seeks to broaden the appeal of Neighbourhood Watch to all sectors of the community. This includes raising the awareness of the movement, initiating project work and providing support in challenging areas such as ethnic and diverse communities, high crime areas and young people.

Crimestoppers is an independent UK-wide charity working to stop crime. Crimestoppers works for you, your family and your community.