The Crime Prevention Website


   Celebrating 250,000 visitors!  - 16th December 2013  

Dear Friend in Crime Prevention

Thank you for taking Newsletter Number 9 from the The Crime Prevention Website, but first of all let me and Ben take this opportunity to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe and Crime-free New Year!

And what a year it’s been!  Our visitor numbers have hugely increased, we’ve just celebrated our ¼ Millionth visitor,  we’ve linked up with several more police forces and other important organisations and we have just started earning a little income from the site through advertising; hopefully enough to have the website properly designed later in 2014.

This issue gives news of a prize draw on this website for you to win a wire-free timer for your home’s internal lights and I detail some findings from our Home Security Survey (In a slightly odd way), which is now well past that statistically significant figure of 2,000 completed surveys.

Free Prize Draw – Four Light-switch Timers to be won!!

In the last Newsletter I said the following:

"Ever thought that you might like to replace one of your wall light switches with a cleverer device that would turn on the light automatically, but were put off by the thought of having to do some wiring?  Be put off no more, because a clever chap, by the name of Naiem Dakri, [of Switched on Products] who obviously has one of those problem solving and inventive imaginations, has come up with a terrific solution: A timer which fits onto a wall switch, which requires no wiring!"

Well, I am delighted to announce that Switched on Products have provided us with four of their unique timers as prizes in our free to enter prize draw! – terms and conditions apply.

You can enter up to 4 times using one of each of the methods shown on our entry page (one prize per person). One way of entering is to sign up for this newsletter, so we’re going to include existing subscribers, like you, in the draw as a thank you for the support you have given us – so there’s no need to subscribe again, although you might want to try the other 3 methods too, to increase your chances of winning!

The closing date for the draw is Friday 31 January 2014 at 23:59 and the winner will be selected at random by an independent judge, you can read the full terms and conditions here.

We’ll email the winners within 7 days and once we’ve made contact we’ll announce the winners on the website and in Newsletter Number 10.

So, please may we ask you to bring this draw to the attention of others and help the Crime Prevention Website to grow.

Good Luck!!

   The Crime Prevention Website – how are we doing?   

Visitor numbers

As of 9 December 2013 we’d received 250,209 visitors since launch and these people have viewed 490,212 pages between them.  October this year saw the biggest visitor numbers for single month since the website was launched back in April 2012.  There were 25,079 visits and 47,917 page views giving us an annual visitor rate of 301K and 575K page views.  Visitor numbers reduced very slightly during November (when I was away on holiday), but we’re on target to achieve our ½ million page views since launch before the end of the year.

These are really good figures for what is still a pretty new website and of course without your help in promoting the site there is no way we could have achieved them, so thank you again for your support!

The key objective for this site is to provide all members of our society with free, accurate and independent crime prevention advice, not as an alternative to what you might get from your local police, but as an addition.  I cannot emphasise this enough, because crime risk is different for all of us, often driven by who we are and where we live.  So listen and take note of the messages you get from the police and use this site to help you find the detail you need to make those improvements to your home and personal security.

Judging by the wonderful feedback we’ve been getting from people we’re confident that we’re doing the right thing and so our next step is to try and help more people.  We have, therefore, set ourselves some pretty ambitious targets - an annual visitor rate of 400K and 750K page views by the end of the 2014.

How are we going to achieve this?

Well, we’re going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing, but we could do with some help and here are some practical suggestions for you:

  • If you work for a police force or other organisation that is not linking to The Crime Prevention Website please could you approach the boss and or the people in charge of your media and see if you can make this happen. We would obviously reciprocate and link back and we would be happy to publicize any crime prevention campaigns they might be running.
  • Follow us on Twitter and re-tweet our tweets
  • Like our Facebook page
  • Encourage people to take our free and confidential Home Security Survey
  • Send us some words of encouragement, which we can post up on our testimonials page
  • Have a go at contributing to the advice content on the website by using 'Feedback on this page'
  • And simply tell people about the website

Thank you very much! 

New Links to the Crime Prevention Website

We have reciprocal links with 150 other websites, but are aware of a further 1350 sites that are linking to us, but don't know who they are!

A further 8 websites have joined us since our last newsletter, which have all come from requests to us rather than from us. This is mainly because I’ve been working on other things for the website and have not had the time to request reciprocal links.  Amongst these new links is Suffolk Constabulary who have linked to us from their burglary advice page.  The Suffolk police link brings our total of linking police services to 10, which is great, but a long way short of the 43 in England and Wales plus Police Scotland, Police Service of Northern Ireland and An Garda Síochána.

I know that a lot of these newsletters are read by police officers, PCSOs and staff serving in the police forces that don’t currently link to us, so if you can help forge a link we would be very grateful.  Bear in mind that a link to our site is all about improving the visitor's experience by making sure that they derive the best advice from their time on the internet.  Several police forces promote the Home Security Survey on our site to both burglary victims and those that are trying not to be so – it all helps. 

Referred visitors from other websites are particularly welcomed, because these visitors are really interested in the subject matter, spend twice as long on the site and read twice as many pages as other visitors finding us from search engines.

Amongst the Company and Consultant links this time round are ViPA UK Ltd, who are based in Darlington in County Durham. ViPA are designers, manufacturers and suppliers of rapid deployment specialist CCTV equipment for law enforcement, property and people protection.  They work very closely with police and local authorities and specialise in the areas of environmental crime, anti social behaviour, metal and fuel thefts, void property protection and the provision of bespoke equipment to the police service.  You'll find them in our new Directory (see below). 

We’re also reciprocally linked with VISTAMATIC®, which is a long time supporter of this website and is the world’s leading manufacturer of glazed secure vision panels.  These people can provide a secure vision panel to fit into a PAS 24 2012 enhanced secure doorset, an ideal solution for someone who finds it difficult to use a door viewer.

Some of you may have noticed a new banner on the website from Switched on Products, inventors of the first wire-free timer that fits over your standard square wall light switch.  We are delighted to be associated with this new company and their innovative product and as you now know you can enter our new prize draw competition to win one!

One new Neighbourhood Watch has linked up recently, which is Winchester and East Hants Neighbourhood Watch.  They run a comprehensive and easy to navigate website, which is well worth a visit if you live down that way.

Page ranking

We’ve maintained our No.1 position on Google for the terms 'crime prevention' and 'crime prevention news' and for lots of other searches too and improved our page ranking for other searches, which has been part of my ongoing work this last few weeks.  Google ranking is of paramount importance for a successful website, for without it we won’t get found!  Once again links with other websites help to improve ranking, which is why our request above to police officers, PCSOs and staff is so important. 

     Website Updates     

Amendments and additions to the website’s advice pages continue as normal and I’ve added several more links to documents and useful websites in the Library

Wednesday 23rd October saw the launch of our new Security Products and Services Directory.  The directory lists products and services that meet recognised security standards, but also includes products that fall outside the scope of standards.  As timing would have it I went on holiday for 3 weeks just after launch so haven’t been able to give it the promotion that it needs just yet.  That said we are delighted to welcome the following 10 individuals and companies on board who will be joined by three more in the New Year:

The process of getting onto our Directory couldn’t be simpler as the whole thing is dealt with online. We're very aware that we have a responsibility to our users so we only accept ads and directory listings from reputable companies with products and services that meet relevant standards and that we approve of. Our most important aim is to make the directory useful to our visitors.

Because we’re still small we’ve kept the costs to a minimum, but just because we’re small doesn’t mean that we haven’t got a big punch!  Our click-through rate on banners is 8 times higher than the industry average, which is mainly because the people who visit our site are engaged people looking for solutions.

If you’re interested in advertising with us do please contact us at this link or if you know someone who might be interested please forward them this link and we'll get in touch.

     The Home Security Survey – the results

We hit 2,000 completed Home Security Surveys on 10th October, way ahead of schedule due to Thames Valley Police’s unwavering support and promotion of the free service – Thank you!

The average number of surveys conducted each day remains at 3.8 since launch; a figure that is slowly but surely increasing with each month.  The satisfaction rate remains at 98%. (2,217 surveys had been conduted at the time of writing)

Don’t forget that this is an entirely free service and will remain so.  However, in the New Year I intend to refer visitors to a charity’s website to make a voluntary donation.  I’ll let you know about the charity in the New Year.

When using this Home Security application, users simply select the type of dwelling they want to survey and work their way through a list of sectionalised questions, picking the closest answer to suit them and their circumstances.  After submitting the answers they’re immediately sent a security report and risk assessment score, which includes links to other parts of the website for more detailed advice.  On average it takes around 17 minutes to complete the survey, although I have to say that a few very careful people take upwards of 45 minutes.

The anonymous data I derive from the survey helps me when writing news stories and articles for this newsletter and the correspondence work I do for Crime Reduction Partnership News, so if there’s an opportunity to promote this free service through your own newsletters and websites I would be very grateful.

The Top 10 Counties for taking the survey are:

Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, London, Cumbria, Surrey, Essex, Kent, West Midlands, Lancashire, Oxfordshire.  Oxfordshire is the new county to enter the top ten. 

Home Security Survey findings:

It’s been really interesting to see how the results and percentages for certain questions have been changing since we first launched this survey back in April last year.  You can see why you need a large sample before anything really meaningful begins to be revealed.

Take these two questions which I last looked at in Newsletter 4, which asks people two general questions about how they rated the security of their home before and after taking the survey.  My suspicion was that they would overestimate their security and the figures, which have now settled down, have proved that to be a correct assumption.  In fact those who considered their home security arrangements to be ‘extremely’ or ‘very secure’ were overestimating by 33%, so I rather suspect they were glad that they took the survey!

This finding does have ramifications for the police crime prevention service and they might want to put out a message along the lines of Your home may not be as secure as you think it is!’

These are the two questions, showing three data points:

1. BEFORE you answer the rest of the survey, how would you rate your home security?


After 300 Surveys

After 1031 Surveys

After 2217 Surveys

Extremely secure




Very secure




Moderately secure




Not very secure




Very insecure




2. Now that you've answered the survey, how would you rate your home security?


After 300 Surveys

After 1031 Surveys

After 2217 Surveys

Extremely secure




Very secure




Moderately secure




Not very secure




Very insecure




Over the next 12 months I shall be revealing more interesting facts from the Home Security Survey, but I thought as it was Christmas and all that it would be fun to set you a quiz!

So here’s a 20 question Christmas Crime Quiz based on the now statistically useful findings from the Home Security Survey.  I think crime prevention staff in the police and Neighbourhood Watch members might find this exercise quite useful.  You could run through them at your upcoming meetings to test your knowledge and spark off a number of interesting conversations – Answers are further down the page – jumbled up a bit!  Good Luck!

Christmas Crime Quiz

What percentage of respondents to the Home Security Survey.....

  1. had been burgled during the past 12 months prior to taking the survey?
  2. have home contents insurance?
  3. have a main entrance door that is recessed by more than 600mm?
  4. state that their main entrance door is PAS 24 2007 or 2012 enhanced secure?
  5. have a door chain or limiter on their main entrance door?
  6. state that persons calling at the main entrance door can't be seen from the road?
  7. hide a key in the front garden?
  8. state that things of value are displayed through their front windows?
  9. do not have a light outside the main entrance door?
  10. don’t have a light outside the rear door?
  11. don’t leave lights on when they go out for the evening?
  12. have garden tools left around the garden for the burglar to use?
  13. have an insecure shed?
  14. do not have a fire plan in case of emergencies?
  15. have marked their property?
  16. do not possess a safe of any kind?
  17. do not hide spare car keys left in the house?
  18. do not have an alarm?
  19. have mail delivered through the door’s letterplate?
  20. have glass doors, which display mail delivered through the letterplate?

Thank you to all who have taken the survey.  We hope you found it useful, because we’ve certainly learnt something new from all your responses.  I suspect I will find more interesting stuff across dwelling types and regions, but until I’ve got a lot more surveys to work with (about 5,000 should do) I shan’t bother Ben with the extra programming he’ll have to do.  So my request is please keep encouraging your friends and neighbours to take the survey, so that we might learn even more and be able to guide you even more accurately.

ANSWERS: S.85.6%,  Q.41.4%,  O.21.1%,  M.30%,  K.16.1%,  I.19.5%,  G.3%,  E.66,5%,  C.16.5%,  A.7%,  T.19.6%,  R.28.3%,  P.72.1%,  N.37%,  L.22.4%,  J.24%,  H.10.1%,  F.9%,  D.5.1%, B.92%

 Crime in the news

Here follows my most read news items during this period. Please feel free to copy and paste our news items into your newsletters as you see fit, but do show the origin of the story, which may be someone or something other than the Crime Prevention Website.

Most read this period

We share all our news stories on Twitter and Facebook.  If you’re into tweeting we would be very grateful for a few extra re-tweets – thanks very much!

  Crime prevention products

myBunjee® is a simple, but clever device comprising a very strong rubber band attached to a bungee with a clip at the other end.  You place the rubber band around a mobile phone, camera or other small gadget and then clip the bungee to a part of your clothing, such as a belt or maybe your handbag.  Should you drop the gadget, which I did (the camera) on a recent trip to Camden Market, the bungee is very likely going to save the day and your bank balance.  Clearly there is a crime prevention element to the product too, which was recently evidenced by Leicestershire police who purchased a quantity of the myBunjee® phone clips and issued them to clubbers in the city to reduce phone thefts in night clubs.  So I am more than happy to be the owner of one and to have been sought out by the inventor, Emma Jones, wishing to place an advert on this website.


What’s also a little unusual about this new product is that Emma appeared on Dragon’s Den with the product where her pitch gained unanimous support.  After some thought Emma chose to work with Peter Jones.

You can view the products on the myBunjee® website and view their cracking promo video.  Emma’s Directory advert is here.

  And finally...

A few festive funnies.  Have a great Christmas and see you all in the New Year!

Early Christmas Shopping

It was approaching Christmas and after a few sherries during lunch the slightly cut Magistrate asked the defendant to remind him of the offence for which he had been charged.

“Doing my Christmas shopping early, your Worship” came the reply.

“That’s no offence”, said the magistrate. “How early were you doing it?”

“Before the shop opened” replied the accused.

Comical Criminal Tweeting

Not sure how many of you caught this report in the Mail online back in May this year, but it is funny!

The story is basically about how Surrey Police’s Tandridge Beat team were using humour on Twitter about villains they had nicked and about crime incidents on the beat.  I found it hilarious and I’m sure their followers did too.  After the story, which included some moaning from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the humour seems to have died down – shame.

Source: (I know) Mail online:

10 per cent chance...

Did you know that 10 per cent of all car thieves are left-handed and that all Polar Bears are left-handed?  This means that if your car is stolen there’s a 10 per cent chance it was taken by a Polar Bear!

Not so innocent finder

A woman dropped the purse from her handbag while Christmas shopping in a very busy store.   It was found and returned by an innocent looking young lad.  The woman looked in the purse and remarked “That’s strange. When I lost my purse there was a £20 note in it and now there are four fivers.”  “That’s right”, quirked the young lad. “The last time I found a lady’s purse she didn’t have enough change to reward me”

Keep 'em peeled!