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Celebrating 630,000 page views! - Monday 17th March 2014
Dear Friend in Crime Prevention
Thank you for taking Newsletter Number 10 from the The Crime Prevention Website.
We know that for some of our readers crime prevention won’t be top of their agendas at the moment and we’re specifically thinking of those of you who have suffered the consequences of the dreadful weather we’ve had since December; we can only imagine what a terrible time you must have had. Here's hoping that things will get back to normal for you just as soon as possible.
April 7th this year marks this website’s second anniversary and we think it would be fair to say that we have been achieving many of the objectives we set ourselves. There's still tons of work to be done and hopefully you'll see quite a lot of new stuff on the site later this year.
We’ve had a really good start to the year with what appears to be a step-change in visitor numbers and additional reciprocal links with other websites. We are continuing to attract a little income from advertisers, which will go towards helping to improve the site.
This issue gives news of our successful prize draw (now closed), brings your attention to some new pages added to the site and introduces you to a security product you might want to take on holiday with you. Our Home Security Survey has shot through the statistically significant figure of 2,000 completed surveys and currently stands at 2,577!
Free Prize Draw – the result
Over Christmas and throughout January we ran a prize draw in conjunction with our friends at Switched on Products, who provided us with four of their unique light switch timers as prizes. We had the winners independently selected in February and contacted them. So far only two of the winners have been back in touch with us to claim their prize and we’re now close to redrawing the other two. We’ll announce the winners on the website’s news pages just as soon as we know all four.
Running the prize draw enabled us to increase the number of completed Home Security Surveys by about 300, add about 100 likes to our Facebook Page, increase our following on Twitter and increase the number of subscribers to this Newsletter. So it’s a big thank you to Switched on Products. And if you haven’t visited their website to examine their rather clever device now is a good time to do so.
The Crime Prevention Website – how are we doing?
As of 10 March 2014 we’d received 333.389 visitors since launch (83,180 more since Newsletter Number 9) who have between them viewed 631,018 pages. January this year saw the biggest visitor numbers for single month since the website was launched. There were 29,341 visits and 51,237 page views giving us an annual visitor rate of 345K and 603K page views. This means we could hit a total 1 million page views by October this year if the numbers keep going up!
Whilst these figures are pretty good for a single issue website (and we have you to thank for them) it’s easy for people to help us still further. This is what you can do
- 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 publicise 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'
- Include a link to The Crime Prevention Website on your emails and newsletters
And there’s more.....
- Speak loudly about the website when attending a cocktail party
- Mention the site to your Doctor, because you can tell them anything
- Using a long stick write the website address in the sand of your nearest beach (please send photo for evidence)
- Cut out large white letters from polystyrene blocks, spelling ‘The Crime Prevention Website’ and place them on a hill overlooking your town – Hollywood style – (planning permission may be required)
Thank you very much!
New Links to the Crime Prevention Website
We have reciprocal links with 162 other websites, but are aware of a further 1350+ sites that are linking to us, but don't know who they are!
A further 15 websites have joined us since our last newsletter. Amongst these new links is Durham Constabulary who have linked to us from their crime prevention and personal safety page and South Yorkshire Police where you’ll find us listed on their crime prevention advice page. These two police services bring our total of reciprocally linking English police websites to 12. There are a couple more aiming to link later in the year, but if you work for the police and feel it would be beneficial for your force site to link up please have a chat with the people who operate your force’s website or provide me with some contacts details so that I may write to them. Thank you.
Neighbourhood Watch is a crucially important movement for crime prevention and I am always delighted when Neighbourhood Watches with great websites agree to reciprocally link. This time round no fewer than 9 Watches have linked up bringing the total of linking Watch sites to 43, with a further 14 Parish Council and Community websites.
We warmly welcome the following Watches and if you live within the areas covered by these schemes we would urge you to pay the relevant website a visit. If you fancy helping out I know they would love to hear from you! See also Website Updates below for news about a new Neighbourhood Watch and Home watch page.
Central Bedfordshire Neighbourhood Watch Linked from their Useful Links page
Harlow Neighbourhood Watch Linked from their Home page
Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association Linked from their Links page
SouthendWatch Linked from their Useful Links page
Rushmoor Neighbourhood Watch Association Links from their Links page
Chineham and Sherfield Park Neighbourhood Watch Linked from their Useful Links page
Fleet & District Neighbourhood Watch Linked from their Links page
Yateley Neighbourhood Watch Association Linked from their Home page
Street Neighbourhood Watch Association Linked from their Links page
LifeLock Ltd are manufacturers of a unique pocket-sized portable door lock that prevents unauthorised access when you’re inside a room – any room actually, but particularly useful when you’re staying in a hotel. Take a look at Crime Prevention Products below to find out more about this invaluable security device.
And please remember that referred visitors from other websites spend twice as long on our site and read twice as many pages as other visitors finding us from search engines.
New Members of the Security Products and Services Directory
A warm welcome to Lorraine Calcott and her award winning international lighting design company, It Does Lighting Limited, who joined our Directory in January. ‘It does lighting’ produce designs for all areas of lighting including street, interior and architectural.
They have a significant understanding of lighting to support crime reduction initiatives and community safety projects and currently they are the only accredited and approved lighting consultancy under the Police Secured by Design (SBD) organisation with whom they work closely on lighting guidance for their publications. They are a finalist in two categories at the 2014 Lighting Design Awards and have contributed frequently to industry publications and guidance.
This year they have undertaken to complete scientific research to establish the effects of Circadian lighting on health and well-being. During night time darkness artificial light can adversely affect our biological clocks – the circadian rhythm, which can contribute to a number of health problems, so their research findings are going to be extremely important for the lighting industry.
Do please click on their Directory entry to read more about them and visit their website.
Selectaglaze Limited We are very happy to inform you that the UK’s leading manufacturer of secondary glazing, Selectaglaze, has joined TCPW’s Directory. The company, which is located in St Albans, Hertfordshire was founded in 1966 and in 2004 was awarded a Royal Warrant for the manufacture and supply of secondary glazing, an honour very few companies manage to achieve.
As I mentioned in a recent news article on 16 January on the main site, secondary glazing is still an incredibly important product and is in regular use in offices, dwellings, hotels, museums, educational and healthcare premises, laboratories and clean rooms as well as many public buildings. Secondary glazing is also uniquely suitable for listed and heritage buildings.
A significant feature of Selectaglaze’s range of products is that they manufacture products specifically designed for security. This enables people who live in listed and heritage buildings, who would otherwise find it next to impossible to upgrade the existing windows, to add an enhanced secure secondary glazing system behind the heritage windows and thence enjoy the level of security that most of us in modern homes take for granted.
Please take a look at their interesting editorial on their Directory page and from there you can visit their very comprehensive website to learn more about the uses of secondary glazing.
CPR Call Blocker It was CPR Call Blocker that convinced me to create the new Nuisance telephone calls page on this website (see below) and consequently they've become a member of our Directory and are displaying a banner.
CPR Call Blocker sells two call blocking devices, which have been approved by the Association of Chief Police Officers' Secured by Design project. These devices are pre-programmed with the top 200 most prolific nuisance callers known to the Call Prevention Registry (a service opearted by CPR Call Blocker) and allows the user to block a further 1,000 nuisance callers by simply pressing the device’s prominent ‘Block Now’ button. This ends the call instantly and prevents you receiving calls from that number ever again.
This simple to use device delivers an almighty punch to the nuisance caller and we are absolutely delighted to be associated with CPR Call Blocker, their services and products.
Bradling Security Limited We are very pleased to welcome Bradling Security Limited (BSL) as our first alarm company onto our Security Products and Services Directory.
It is obviously important for us to have an association with an alarm company who is a member of the Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB), one of the inspectorate bodies acceptable to the police service, because we can now put some of you in touch with an alarm company that delivers on what we talk about in our advice pages!
BSL have been established for over 20 years and are based in Essex. From their head office in Braintree they provide security services in London, Hertfordshire, Essex and across the South East.
They specialise in the supply, installation and maintenance of intruder and fire alarm systems offering a monitoring service where requested. Importantly, they also install closed circuit television, access control and roof protection systems and what’s more their experienced risk assessors and surveyors include a former crime prevention expert and colleague of mine from the Metropolitan Police.
As members of the SSAIB you can be rest-assured that their security systems will always be installed to the requirements of European and British Standards and will therefore be compliant with the Association of Chief Police Officers Police Response to Security Systems Policy.
Please visit their Directory here:
Current Directory list
- Bradling Security Limited - Installers of alarms, access control systems and CCTV
- Selectaglaze Limited – Manufacturers and suppliers of enhanced security secondary glazing systems
- It Does Lighting Limited - Lighting design company
- CPR Call Blocker - Manufactures and supplies telephone call blocking devices and operates the Call Prevention Registry
- ViPA UK Ltd - Supplier of specialist CCTV systems to the police and local authorities
- Detect Deter Defend - Security Consultants and Supplier of Personal Security products and Services
- Griffin Research and Consultancy - Security Consultants, Crime Research and Training
- Sixth Sense Training - Problem Solving and Crime Prevention Training
- Jupiter 2000 - Security and Fire Safety Consultants
- UK Crime Reduction Service - Security Consultants
- Bunjee Products - Suppliers of Safety Bunjees to protect phones, wallets etc
- Strand DNA - Supplier of Door and Entry Point DNA Offender Marking and Security products
- Switched on Products - Supplier of Wire-free Timers for Wall Light Switches
- Jacksons Fencing - Manufacturer and Installer of Security Fencing and Access Solutions
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 where these apply 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
We’ve maintained our No.1 position on Google for the terms 'crime prevention' and search results using Google now show our recent news posts to the right of the search results column (Google +). We’re also ranked No 1 for other search terms, such as 'crime prevention news', ‘burglary risk’, ‘crime prevention library’, ‘home security survey’, and garden security’ and lots more. Google ranking continues to be an important measure of success for us, because without good ranking we won’t get found amongst the hundreds of millions of sites.
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
The following new pages have been added to the website.
The vast majority of us own home and mobile telephones and most of us would have received what we would describe as 'nuisance' phone calls and messages. These types of calls and messages range from the plain but irritating sales call right through to the downright fraudulent call often made to someone vulnerable suggesting they’ve won a competition they haven’t entered. The latter has resulted in people losing their life savings, because they’ve been taken in by the fraudsters.
Fortunately there are many free or virtually free steps you can take to reduce the problem and for those calls that continue to creep down your telephone line there are also very good value solutions to stop these as well.
As a result of our new relationship with CPR Call Blocker a company that manufactures the best call-blocking devices available I’ve put together what I consider to be a pretty comprehensive guide to nuisance and fraudulent calls. Please let people know about this new advice page, because I’m sure they’ll learn something new – as I did when I was conducting the research.
To mark the importance I place on the Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch movement I’ve at last included a new page for Neighbourhood Watch, to which I shall add further information during the year. As there already exists the ‘official’ National Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch Network website it would have been pretty pointless repeating the advice and information which their website provides. However, I did think it might prove useful to talk about my own personal involvement with Neighbourhood Watch (back in the 1980s) and to say something about starting a scheme and door knocking. So for the moment I’ve confined my words to these two areas, which still amounts to some 3.25K words – hopefully of some interest!
In response to a request from one of our Newsletter subscribers I’ve put together my version of the Ten Principles of Crime Prevention.
You can use these principles as a sort of check-list to work out ways to reduce or remove the opportunity to commit crime. Although my crime prevention colleagues will recognise these from their crime prevention courses anybody can use them and they’re very useful for group discussions, such as at Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch meetings.
Neil Henson has just sent me article 3 of his excellent series of papers on Problem Solving. This time he discusses the importance of researching and analysing your problem, so you can work out its history, what is happening now and what is likely to be causing it.
This follows on from his other articles, which show us how to define a problem and how to set our aims.
Neil (an old colleague of mine in my Met Police days) gently works his way through his unique problem solving model in his easy to read and understand language and we are frankly honoured to be able to publish his material on this website.
Neil and his team at ‘Sixth Sense Training’ deliver a wide range of training courses, which include: Problem Solving Partnerships; Engaging with Communities; Reducing Crime and Disorder; Information Sharing and Presentation Skills.
If you’d like to contact Neil please go to his DIRECTORY entry on this website where you can read a lot more about him and his company.
Future additions to the site
Ben is currently burning several candles at both ends, working his way through a whole heap of programming at his day job and then working on in the evenings programming a phone app game for someone famous. This means that we’re going to be somewhat late with our new forum, but be rest assured that it will be happening before the summer and you’ll be the first to know.
The Home Security Survey – the results
We hit 2,577 completed Home Security Surveys on 10 March. The average number of surveys conducted each day since site launch is 3.7, which is very slightly (0.1) down since the last newsletter. The satisfaction rate remains steady at 98%. The good news is that we’re about half-way from 5K, which when reached will enable me to start drilling down further into the data to reveal interesting things about different types of dwellings
Don’t forget that this is an entirely free service and will remain so.
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.
Forewarned is forearmed!
One of the questions I ask in the Home Security Survey is whether the respondent has been burgled at some point in the preceding 12 months. This is what people have said:
- 92.9% have not been burgled in the preceding 12 months
- 4.2% have been burgled in the preceding 6 weeks
- 0.7% have been burgled in the preceding 3 months
- 0.6% have been burgled in the preceding 6 months
- 1.6% have been burgled in the preceding 12 months
From the crime prevention perspective it’s good to know that the vast majority of people taking the survey have not been burgled in the 12 months immediately prior to them taking the survey, because assessing ones security without first having become a victim is precisely when it should be done!
That said, the 7.1% of respondents that had suffered a burglary are also doing precisely the right thing, because of something called ‘Repeat Victimisation’ (RV). Several criminological studies of crime data reveal that once we become the victim of a crime (in this case burglary) our chances of suffering another burglary straight afterwards is higher than the chances of suffering the first. This increased likelihood of burglary quickly drops off with time, but the rate doesn’t settle back to the original pre-burglary chance for several months.
Why should this be the case? Well, there could be several reasons, but the obvious ones are that:
- The same thieves return to steal items of property they were unable to take during the first burglary, possibly bringing a vehicle on the second occasion
- The same thieves return, knowing that certain items have been replaced by the householder after claiming on their home contents insurance
- Different thieves take advantage of the same security weaknesses. These thieves may have spotted these security weaknesses for themselves or may have been told about them by the first thieves
This well researched theory of Repeat Victimisation has important messages for both the householder and the police service. It is pretty obvious that the victimised householder should react immediately and increase their home security and it is also essential that the police not only provide the victim with the necessary information to enable them to improve their security arrangements, but also to tell them precisely why an improvement to their security is essential – forewarned is forearmed!
It is for these reasons why it’s good to see the police service forewarning residents about current crime problems using their various alert messaging systems. And they also fulfil their responsibilities by providing us with crime prevention material by way of leaflets or web-based advice. In some force areas you might also be able to get help from a Crime Prevention Officer.
We can all do our bit to reduce repeat crimes by ensuring that our victimised neighbours are aware of the higher risks and are provided with the correct advice to counteract them.
So, please advise people to take our Home Security Survey, whether or not they’ve been burgled, and if you operate a Neighbourhood Watch, perhaps you could run an item on RV in your next newsletter
Dare I say ‘you know it makes sense!’
The Top 10 Counties in England for taking the survey this period are:
Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, London, Cumbria, Surrey, Essex, Kent, Lancashire, West Midlands, Sussex. (Sussex is the new county to enter the top ten displacing Oxfordshire to eleventh place – just.)
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 news items this period
- Scammers using Legitimate Locksmith Company Names – this news item was the most read and re-tweeted ever! Many thanks goes to members of the Master Locksmiths Association who follow these pages.
- Nuisance Telephone Calls New advice page added
- Is Your Garden Gate Well Hung ?
- New campaign urges people to be 'Cyber Streetwise'
- CyberQuest Unique Theft Prevention Campaign to Launch in UK
- Top 20 most Burgled Postcodes
- Keep your back door locked at all times, even when at home
- Pubs and clubs routinely breaking the law, study shows
- Derbyshire Constabulary issues warning to Land Rover owners
- Ten Good Reasons to link to The Crime Prevention Website
- Burglarize - what is that? – My second most read story this period - see below
Pages viewed most via Twitter
- Draw Competition Page with Switched on Products (Now closed)
- The Crime Prevention Website’s Home Page
- Defensive plants, shrubs and trees (shrub fences)
- Top 20 most Burgled Postcodes – News
- One Percent of Population Responsible for 63% of Violent Crime, Study Reveals – News
- Scammers using Legitimate Locksmith Company Names – News
- Advertising with us
- Burglar Alarms Advice
- Window security
- Courier fraud in Wokingham and Reading - News
Crime prevention products
LifeLock Keeps Them Out!
In January I was in touch with locksmith, safe designer and Inventor, Joe Silver, about his excellent invention – the LifeLock.
LifeLock is a pocket-sized portable door lock that prevents unauthorised access when you are inside a room. I’ve been carrying one of these around in my suitcase for several years and use it on hotel bedroom doors. Let me explain:
Sometimes when you wind up in a hotel either in the UK or some foreign country you might notice that the bedroom door or the doorframe (or both) is showing signs of damage; evidence that the room door has been forced open in the past. I don’t know how you’ve felt about this, but it makes me feel very uneasy, especially if my bedroom is near to an emergency exit staircase, a location that generally increases the risk of a hotel bedroom burglary (This last point is based on a study I made of hotel bedroom burglary in London’s West End).
Now although it is rare that someone might come bursting in through the door while you’re in the room or creep in using a pass key to steal your stuff while you’re asleep, for some the knowledge that they can hugely increase the security of the door by popping on Joe’s LifeLock and prevent these possibilities helps many people rest much easier at night, especially when they’re on their own. And for certain people visiting countries that have particular security risks the use of LifeLock has become part of their security routine. What’s more, the device requires no keys, codes, fixings, tools or door alterations and you can pop it on in seconds.
LifeLock simply fits between the door and the doorframe utilising the existing catch plate. The door is easily closed with the device in place and then the body of the lock is pressed up tight against the door. It has a soft rubber stop on the body so that it doesn't damage or leave marks on the door. It can be used on left- and right-hanging inward-opening doors fitted with mortice or night latches and of course by the very nature of the design it foils over-riding master keys, cards or picks. Its all-metal construction provides great strength and durability and it can resist forces in excess of 650 kgf; factors that have been independently verified by testing at a university. Usefully the device also incorporates a clock and a torch so you can fit it in the dark.
Having personally used the device on many occasions I think it is especially suitable for apartment tenants, backpackers, business travellers, children on school trips, college, university and gap year students, flat-sharers, holidaymakers, homeowners, hotel guests, lone travellers and tourists.
Such has been the success of this device that it’s been sold into more than 50 countries and recently a 1,000-unit order was shipped to India and I might add that LifeLock is in use worldwide by government, military, police and security professionals and, significantly, has HM Ministry of Defence clearance status.
Joe tells me that everyone at LifeLock is really proud about their contribution to making the world a safer place. And I agree with that claim, because this clever device does make a huge difference to one’s personal security and feeling of safety when away from home.
If you’d like one, do please visit the LifeLock website, where you’ll find a great deal more detail and a video showing you how it’s used.
- Weight: 195g
- All-metal construction
- High-strength steel locking bar
- Polished corrosion-resistant coating
- Dimensions: 90mm x 20mm (folded)
- “Resists forces well in excess of 650kgf” – Faculty of Engineering SSU UK
The things told to Crime Prevention Officers (You can tell a CPO anything!)
Back in the day that the Metropolitan police operated an articulated crime prevention lorry I would book the thing for a few days during the Ealing festival or maybe for a Neighbourhood Watch event and invite people to come on board to view the various displays and ask their crime prevention questions. Sometimes the questions and stories were quite funny and here’s a selection I collected over the years.....and they’re all true!
“This security lark is all very well but, my old mother had all the right locks on her doors and windows and an alarm and we helped her postcode her valuable property and we put trellis on top of her fence and we put up extra lighting and we bought her a dog and then she got knocked on the head and robbed in Acton High Street!”
“I’ve decided to electrify my back fence. If someone gets killed is there any chance that I might get prosecuted?”
“I’m a registered firearms holder and will not hesitate to shoot the next person who enters my house uninvited”
“They wouldn’t dare break into my house.” “Why’s that?” I asked. “Because I’m a Magistrate”
“Don’t talk to me about safes! I had a really good one; insurance approved with key and combination and all the trimmings. I kept the wife’s jewels in there and the house deeds and the passports and a few quid I wanted to keep away from the tax man, but I forgot to bolt it into the floor – so they nicked it!”
“I’ve dug a long three feet wide trench behind my garden fence. The next burglar who comes over the fence is going to be somewhat surprised when he lands on the six inch nails at the bottom of it!”
“Yeh, I can see all these door locks and alarms and things, but they can still break in, so I don’t bother.” “How many times have you been burgled?”, I enquired. “Six times” came the reply.
“My husband is a mountaineer and practices climbing the back wall of our house. He’s re-laid some of the house bricks so they stick out to put your feet and hands on. Do you think this has increased my chances of burglary?”
“My neighbour opposite had an alarm that kept going off for no reason, so we stopped bothering to look out when we heard the damn thing hooting. Then he had a new one put in and that bloody thing went off as well” “What happened?”, I asked. “He got burgled.”
“I asked my neighbour to leave one of his three vehicles on my driveway while I was away on holiday, to make it look as if someone was in” “That was a good idea” I remarked. “Well I thought so too”, he retorted, “Until I got back home to discover that he’d parked his huge delivery van right in front of the entrance door, the very door that the burglars broke through”
My late Father-in-law (a farmer) once said to me; “Calvin, I’ve had to get one of those buggering shotgun cabinets for me shotguns and cartridges. Bloody waste of time and money if you ask me” “Let’s see it”, I asked. “It’s in the wash room” he said, pointing vaguely in its direction. “Where’s the shotguns?” I enquired, finding the cabinet empty. “By the back door, where I always keep ‘em!”
And finally, finally.
I came over a bit wanton on 20 December about the over-use of Americanised words in the UK. I blame t’internet, frankly, but this is what I said in the news item...
Is it just me or have the words ‘Burglarize’ ‘Burglarized’ and ‘Burglarizing’ been gradually creeping into the UK English language from across the pond? I’m sure I heard one of them used on BBC breakfast news last week and I definitely heard a former British police officer use ‘Burglarize’ during a lecture I heard very recently.
Now I have no problem with North Americans using burglarize if that is what they wish to do and if they want to say ‘we’ve seen an upturn in the burglarization figures’ who am I to argue? It’s their language and they can jolly well do with it what they wish.
However, to hear Brits using these unnecessarily lengthenized words instead of the more convenient ‘Burgled’, ‘Burgle’ and ‘Burgling’ is frankly beyond my comprehensionizing. The UK English words together add up to only six syllables whereas the US English words come to a staggering TEN!
I think I shall go and lie down and resterize my head.