The Crime Prevention Website


   Celebrating Half a Million Visits!

Monday 1st September 2014

Dear Friend in Crime Prevention

Thank you for taking Newsletter Number 12 from the The Crime Prevention Website

Something good happened on August 10. On that day we saw our website receive its 500,000th visit – I was actually sat in front of the computer and saw it happen! (Sad person as I am) But that’s really good news for us, because it means that we’re not far from achieving our next goal, which is 1 million page views.  That will occur around the end of September – so watch this space.

This issue is a little different from previous ones, because it concentrates more on my new website pages and less on the Home Security Survey findings.  I'm also somewhat pressed for time and very soon I’ll be off on my annual visit to my dear friends in N. Cyprus for a long break.  I’ll still be doing stuff on the website though, it’s just that I’ll be sitting in front of a different computer and it’ll be 35 degrees!

Hopefully you'll still find the content useful, please read on.....


   The Crime Prevention Website – how are we doing?

Visitor numbers

As of 13 August 2014 we’d received 503,432 visitors since launch (73,516 more since Newsletter Number 11) who between them have viewed 902,345 pages.  April this year remains the highest month for visitor numbers since launch and, in fact, visitor numbers have been down slightly this period. 

Looking at the data it seems that a pattern is emerging with figures climbing from January to May, and then reducing towards the summer, with lows during the summer holidays, and then going back up again in the autumn with an obvious quiet period around Xmas. It wouldn’t surprise me if similar patterns are found across all crime prevention advice sites (I’m thinking of police and neighbourhood watch sites in particular), and knowing the peaks and troughs is actually quite useful when it comes to promoting various crime prevention messages.

Although our visitor numbers remain very good we still rely on you for your help, so once again I repeat the usual requests:   

  • 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 and please share some of our stories, which takes just a couple of clicks
  • 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 the 'Feedback on this page' in the top-left of every page
  • Include a link to The Crime Prevention Website on your emails and newsletters

Thank you very much! 

Page ranking

We’ve maintained our No.1 position on Google for the terms 'crime prevention' and No 1 or 2 for 'crime prevention news'. In fact for news today I see we occupy four places on page 1, which isn’t bad at all!

Google ranking remains a hugely important thing for us, because without good ranking we would be lost amongst the ether. 

New Links to the Crime Prevention Website

I’ve not been able to write to many websites requesting links, but 10 more have come on board all the same giving us a total of 187 reciprocal links. Unfortunately this isn’t quite accurate, because I know there are three sites that have removed the link during the past few weeks – and haven’t told me.  When I get a moment I’ll take them off my Partners page. This happens all the time, so for every thirty I gain I usually lose one! Here are the new links: 

Police Forces

No new actual links with police services this time, but two have contacted me to say they will be doing so very soon. This is as a result of my letter to several Chief Constables back in June.  See below for the feedback to my letter.

Neighbourhood Watch and Community Sites

I’ve secured two new links with Neighbourhood Watches this time and they are both London based -  Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch and Croydon Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association.  I’ve also been receiving referrals from Brentford TW8, a community site in West London. I am very pleased about these three links, because in spite of the fact that I live in West London and was a policeman in London for 30 years, I’ve found it a struggle to make them.  I now have 12 links in place with London based Watches and community sites, so at last things are going in the right direction.

On top of this good news I am delighted to report our first link with a Crime Prevention Panel (CPP) in England! Crime Prevention Panels have been in existence since the 1960s and I had the impression that most had ceased to be once the neighbourhood watch movement was launched.  It seems I was wrong as they are still operating in many locations around the UK.

So it’s a big welcome to North West Kent Crime Prevention Panel and what a lot of work they do!

For one thing, the panel operates a crime prevention van, which is taken to various locations and events around their area to promote the crime prevention message.  In conjunction with Kent Police and other agencies they’ve also been sharing The Safety Store, which is a shop in Bluewater, where you’ve been able to purchase a wide range of really useful security gizmos at very low prices!

What’s more they give talks on crime prevention, carry out home security surveys, mark and register bicycles and horse tack, and do many other things to support their local communities and the police. And on top of this you can also purchase security items listed on their website, again at knock down prices!


We have a link in place with Non-drying paint Ltd in Australia. No guesses for what they can supply and pleased that this link will be sending over quite a few more Australians for some top British advice!

Forums and News mentions

Amongst these new links are: Net Mums, a very well known site for, well, Mums, from which we get lots of referrals because our site gets the odd mention in their many forums. Bike Chat Forums is another, which is a forum for people who like two wheels of the motorised kind.

Associations and Institutes

NoOffence, a community interest company that facilitates open access to and exchange of crime and justice information linked up in July. One of the other things they do is help people who have served a sentence get work – something that is known to help people go straight and therefore an excellent way to prevent crime.

Although we’re not formally linked I get so many referrals from the Australian Institute of Criminology that I thought I’d link back.  I’ve since found out where the referrals are coming from and it’s a recent paper published on their site that examines how crime prevention is being promoted on the internet. I'm pleased to say that TCPW is one of the sites that gets a mention!

Letter to  Chief Constables

I said last time that the reciprocal links I have with police forces are extremely important for us. This is mainly because it gives my site credibility over and above what I may give it due to my previous police experience. Not only that, but if you’re trying to encourage neighbourhood watches to link up too they will want to have confidence that they aren’t just linking to any old site. I think I also mentioned that I hadn’t written letters to Chief Constables before.....well I have now!

Many police forces have policies not to link to external websites, and so I was expecting to receive lots of polite letters declining my offer.  I wrote to 17 Chief Constables on 11 June and this is what happened....

Bedfordshire  Happy to support your website and will be linking to it once our website review has been completed

Cambridgeshire No reply

City of London No Reply

Cheshire No reply

Cleveland No reply

Derbyshire No reply

Dorset No reply

Greater Manchester Police Received phone call and email saying they would be pleased to link up as soon as they had completed their much needed alterations to their own website

Humberside No reply

Lancashire No reply

Leicestershire No Reply

Lincolnshire No Reply

Merseyside Thanked me for the letter and said it had been sent to the Ch Supt, Head of Community Engagement, for his consideration – No reply since. I think it’s a case of ‘don’t ring us, we’ll ring you!’

Norfolk Letter and email received.  Email said that they have a policy not to link with external websites even though they link to my friends at The Master Locksmiths Association!!

North Yorkshire No reply, although last year I received a phone call from an Inspector saying they were going to link, but nothing happened

Northumbria No Reply

I also wrote to Avon and Somerset, because they had been linking from May 2012 and dropped the link in January 2014 when they introduced a brand new website.  Sadly they too have gone onto the ‘No reply’ list

I am obviously disappointed with the response, not so much by the fact that I’ve only gained two more links, but more by the lack of actual replies. The saving graces for this is that my site is already linked to by 11 police services (with two to link soon) and several hundred police officers and PCSOs now follow me on Twitter and many of these work for the forces that haven’t replied.

In the next few weeks I shall write to the remaining 16 police forces on my list, but clearly I am not expecting many replies!!

So watch this space for the results of the next round!

Medals Awarded

Every couple of months I check to see how many referrals I’ve been getting from the websites that link to this website.  Awarding medals is our way of saying thank you very much to our Partners and recognising the fact that our mission to spread the crime prevention message is reaching those parts that other websites cannot reach!  Although the forums listed below are not strictly ‘Partners’ they nevertheless contribute to TCPW’s overall visitor numbers.

This month I’m pleased to announce the following awards to our Partners 





If you get a moment do please pay these sites a visit


   New Members of the Security Products and Services Directory

One more company has joined our Security Products and Services Directory and there are two more joining up very soon.

Our latest member is Martin Unwin from BON-TAG who is a Bonsai tree enthusiast who is using RFID chips for the identification and protection of Bonsai trees and their pots. Take a look at Crime Prevention Products below for a full explanation of this important new security product.

Current Directory list

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


   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. I've also been very busy writing new pages, which you can read about below.

Website pages most landed on this period (in order)

A landing page is the page someone first arrives at when they click on a search result. The visitor may then go on to visit further pages. You can see from the list that this website is found across a wide variety of search enquiries. 

  1. The UK law concerning fences, walls and gates
  2. Anti-climb measures for fences and walls
  3. Burglar Alarms Advice
  4. Defensive plants, shrubs and trees (shrub fences)
  5. Mortice (Mortise) locks
  6. Security shutters, grilles and door gates
  7. More things to improve door security (mainly concerning anti-bump and snap resistant lock cylinders)
  8. Locking sliding sash windows
  9. Glazing for domestic security
  10. Security for the garage

The following new pages have been added to the website.

When to use 999

I’ve had lots of conversations with friends and family about this issue and after I saw an article by Norfolk Constabulary about a Twitter initiative called #999Misuse I thought I should add a short page to clear things up.

I thought the Norfolk police’s initiative was rather good fun and here are some of their tweets:

  • Call from a restaurant in #Yarmouth about a declined card payment – not something we can deal with as an emergency #999Misuse
  • What would you do if you forgot the conditions of your ASBO? A Watton man has tonight dialled 999 to check #HeadInHands #999Misuse
  • Interesting start to the shift…999 call from a man reporting a seagull with a broken wing on his balcony…advised 2 call RSPCA/vet #999Misuse

Definition of 'Crime Prevention'

I’ve added my own definition of ‘crime prevention’ to the page entitled ‘Ten Principles of Crime Prevention’ for two reasons: First, because I was asked to do so by one of my supporters and secondly it was a bit silly not to have a definition of the term on a website devoted to preventing crime! A bit duh I’m sure you will agree!

For what it’s worth here’s my definition, which some police will recognise from their crime prevention courses. I’ve added a couple of extra words; that’s all.


Romance Scams

Many thousands of people use online dating sites in the UK to meet people and most do so without any major problems, even if they don’t find the person they’re looking for!

Unfortunately there are a few who fall into the trap of having their emotions cloud their judgement leading to financial loss and so I thought it would be helpful to include the following information published by West Mercia Police on 27 May 2014 onto a new page in Online Scams.  The article contains useful tips on how to avoid such scams but importantly provides a number of true victims’ tales to help those of you using on-line dating services to spot the traps.

Repeat victimisation - burglary

This is the content of the new short page on my site about repeat victimisation.

Several criminological studies of crime data reveal that once we become the victim of a crime (in this example, burglary) our chances of suffering another burglary straight afterwards are 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.

So, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer a burglary please don’t think that you’ve had your turn and they won’t be coming back.  The data says otherwise!

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

Risks for the neighbours not burgled also go up!

It has also been established that once a burglary has occurred at one house along a street, the risks also go up for neighbouring dwellings. 

This may be because of some environmental design issue, such as an ungated alleyway running to the rear of terraced housing – hence my development of The Alleygater’s Guide to Gating Alleys. (See Alleygating - Terraced housing and back alleyways

Sometimes, common design features shared by similar houses along a street can lead to ‘repeats’, such as ungated side accesses between semi-detached homes and deeply recessed front entrances. On new housing estates, which will have the same locks on all the entrance doors (albeit different keys), burglars who like to attack the lock cylinders will have a field day, because the MO will be identical for each dwelling. This is why you need an alarm and should upgrade your lock cylinders, if they’re not anti-bump and attack resistant.

It is for these reasons why I applaud all efforts by the police and neighbourhood watch volunteers to warn neighbours that a burglary has taken place along their street.     

This well researched theory of Repeat Victimisation, originally developed by Professor Ken Pease, a friend of this website, 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!

Opportunity for crime

Sometime in July I saw an article on one of the police sites that listed ten simple things to do to prevent crime.  I thought I’d have a go myself and have so far have come up with 23 common things that we do or don’t do which can (sometimes) result in a crime.  This is the content of the new page that appears in my chapter ‘Home Security Assessment’

In very simplistic terms, for most crimes to take place, you need three things to come together at the same time. There needs to be a victim (or target), an offender and an opportunity.  It follows that if we can remove just one of these ingredients a crime cannot take place.

We are the potential victims and we or our property will be the target.  It is obviously not always possible to remove ourselves from harm and nor can we always remove the targets. Likewise, whilst the police do their level best to remove the offenders from circulation, there will always be plenty of them about. So it falls to us to do everything we can to remove the most obvious opportunities that allow crime to take place.  And that is exactly what this website is all about!

Unfortunately, many of us (some more than others) regularly present opportunities to the offenders and then wonder why we become the victims and if you don't believe me here's just twenty-three things we do or don't do that encourage crime......

  1. Leaving stuff on view in the car
  2. Forgetting to lock the vehicle
  3. Not properly locking a multi-point locking door, especially at night
  4. Leaving keys in door locks, especially close to cat-flaps
  5. Leaving a ground floor front window open when out in the back garden
  6. Leaving doors and windows open or unlocked when going out
  7. Not leaving lights on in the home when we go out at night
  8. Not buying enhanced secured doors and windows when upgrading them
  9. Having an insecure shed containing tools for the burglar to use on the house
  10. Not locking the garage, which may have a door directly into the house
  11. Not chaining up a wheelie bin which could be used to climb over a side gate
  12. Not locking a side gate
  13. Not setting the burglar alarm
  14. Having a security safe and not using it
  15. Not marking valuables, making it easy for thieves to sell them on
  16. Opening the door to unexpected callers without checking who’s there first
  17. Doing business with cold callers at the door and on the phone
  18. Carrying a wallet in a back pocket
  19. Hanging a handbag on the back of a chair in a pub or cafe 
  20. Showing off the latest mobile phone to friends in a busy pub
  21. Getting into an unlicensed taxi
  22. Believing something we are told that’s simply too good to be true
  23. Not trusting our instincts that something isn’t right

As you read through my list I wonder if you recognised something you might have done! Be not embarrassed, I’ve been guilty of several of them myself (but not my wife who is perfect in every way).

The point I want to make though is that these mistakes create the conditions necessary for unnecessary crimes to take place!  Most of the time you’ll get away with it, but then one day you won’t and then you’ll have to call the police.

Having been a policeman attending the scenes of many unnecessary crimes I was always very sensitive to the victim – as we should be, but privately it used to concern me especially as in my days thieving and burglary and crime in general was far more common than it is today  - and we could barely keep up with it.

So think about this:  Well-known Criminologists, Marcus Felson and Ronald V Clarke, once said “There is no single cause of crime that is sufficient to guarantee its occurrence: yet opportunity above all others is necessary and therefore has as much or more claim to being a root cause.” Having spent years in crime prevention I think they're spot on!

So my request to you is always to take a minute or two to consider your security, which might save you a day or two in picking up the pieces when things go wrong.

Cylinder snapping and bumping

I’ve updated and removed my information about cylinder snapping and bumping from ‘More things to improve door security’ to its own page so it will be found more easily by those on the site and by those who are searching the internet for this information.

Lock snapping and to some extent, bumping, remains a problem and the police and locksmiths continue to recommend replacing these vulnerable cylinders.

You may wish to use some of this information in your own Newsletter.  If you do, please include a reference and or a link back to my website.

Here’s the content of the new page.........

Most of the locks on replacement doors rely on a ‘euro' profile cylinder or ‘oval’ profile cylinder to operate the locking mechanism. In recent years there has been a steady increase in the numbers of burglaries where these cylinders have been attacked to gain entry.

The police and security industry have known about these problems for several years, but because in the early days the techniques were used rarely and were confined to only a few locations around the UK, these problems were deliberately not broadcast to the public at large for fear of making the problem a lot worse.  Instead, the security industry quietly and quickly developed measures to protect the cylinders from these attacks.

With the methods of attack now widely broadcast across the internet your need to upgrade your door locks and associated hardware has become a lot more important. Before we find out what you can do about it let's first look at these attacks in a little more detail; something I wouldn't have written about a couple of years ago.

See DIRECTORY for anti-snap cylinders

Cylinder snapping

The standard euro profile cylinder on your front door is essentially two cylinders together providing you with a keyway (keyhole) on both faces of the door.  If you live in a flat then your cylinder might have a thumb turn on the inner face instead of a keyway.  In the middle of the cylinder is a cam that turns when you insert and turn the key or the thumb turn and it is this cam that operates the locking mechanism.  The cylinder barrel is cast in one piece and the metal below the cam is quite thin.  This is the weak point. Having snapped the cylinder and removed it from the door the thief can turn the cam with a screwdriver to release the locking mechanism.

There are essentially four techniques used to snap the cylinder in half. There are no 'official' terms for these techniques, but I think my own nomenclature just about hits the spot.

Strike and Snap  On some doors the cylinder can protrude from the surface of the door by as much as 10mm.  By sliding a claw hammer sharply down the handle's faceplate onto the top of the cylinder the cylinder will often snap off after only one strike.  

Wiggle and Snap  Once again, if the cylinder is protruding it is possible to snap on a mole grip, wiggle the cylinder from side to side and it will eventually snap off.

Tool and Snap  This method is really the same as Wiggle and Snap except that a special cylinder snapping tool is used.  In essence the tool is a long bar with a cut out at one end that fits tightly over the cylinder profile.  The tool is often used by locksmiths when you've lost your keys and you're going to replace the cylinder.

Screw, Wiggle and Snap  (Sounds more like a dance!) Where the cylinder does not protrude a great deal a hardened 'concrete' screw can be turned into the cylinder to provide the necessary leverage point.

Peel and snap  Instead of using a screw the thief peels off the door handle plate to reveal the now protruding cylinder, which can be snapped off.  Sometimes the cylinder will snap off at the same time as the plate is peeled back.

Two of these techniques are ably demonstrated in this video on You Tube 


Lock 'bumping' involves the use of a special cut down key, which is inserted into the keyway.  Whilst applying a little turning force on the key it is tapped on the end.  The energy travels down the key and makes the pins in the barrel jump up to the necessary positions to enable the key to turn the cam inside and unlock the door. Given a little practice the technique is quite achievable and sets of 'bump' keys are available to anyone off the internet - I've done it myself!  

Bumping (as a method used to commit burglary) reached our shores from Northern Europe around 2002 where, according to my contact in Denmark, it has been used by thieves for several decades. Of course, our locksmiths have known about the technique probably since the invention of the profile cylinder, because that's what locksmiths do; they try and overcome security devices so that they can open your door when you get locked out. The various locksmith associations around the world even have competitions to see who can 'bump' a lock the quickest!

Bumping dilemmas

Because bumping a cylinder leaves little or no evidence that the technique has actually been used to gain entry we are faced with two rather major dilemmas. The first one is concerned with how the crime is recorded by the police.  As a victim you could be telling the police that you definitely closed and locked all the doors and windows when you left the house, but the police officers will be scratching their heads thinking how then did the thief get in? With no obvious evidence to identify the point of entry who could blame them if they didn't believe you and surmised that the house was left insecure. In the end the crime report would probably record the point and method of entry as 'unknown', but this won't help you when it comes to making an insurance claim, which is the second dilemma.

The insurers will want to be convinced that you had secured all the doors and windows, as this is normally a condition of your cover, so how are you going to convince the insurers that the thief used a bump key? I have no doubt that insurers have come across this problem many times and have settled claims, but this dilemma is food for thought.  If this has happened to you please let us us know by clicking Feedback on this page at the top left of this page.

The extent of the problem

An added problem with bumping is that it has been difficult for the police to know how widespread the problem has become.  The limited analysis that has been conducted suggests that bumping is more common in newer housing developments where all the doors use a similar cylinder, which can be overcome using the same bump key.

Bumping appears to have been geographically concentrated suggesting limited learning exchange between thieves.  That being said it is clear that the police have considered bumping to be a growing problem, because they have worked closely with the industry and standards bodies encouraging the development of new standards for cylinders and attack resistant door hardware.

Solutions for Cylinder Snapping and Bumping

The Door and Hardware Federation and the Glass and Glazing Federation have produced a very useful guide for security and building professionals, installers and locksmiths entitled Meeting the new TS 007 security standard for replacement lock cylinders and protective door furniture.  In essence, the guide demonstrates how these persons can upgrade the security of a doorset by installing a fully resistant (Three Star) Kitemarked lock cylinder or combining a One Star cylinder with Two Star security hardware.

The full Technical Specification 007 Enhanced security performance requirements for replacement cylinders and/or associated security hardware can be viewed here.

There is also an alternative security standard for a Kitemarked Three Star cylinder, which is SS312 Diamond Approved Standard, published by Sold Secure 

See DIRECTORY for anti-snap cylinders

So, you can replace the existing euro-profile and oval cylinders in your doors with BSI Kitemarked, or SS312 cylinders that are resistant to bumping and snapping together with the door handle or other protective hardware.  Although you can do this work yourself you should employ a member of the Master Locksmiths Association if you are in any doubt.

If you have enhanced security doors that are certificated to PAS 24:2012 or the previous version of PAS 24, PAS 24: 2007 +A2: 2011, then the locking systems and door hardware will already be resistant to attacks on the cylinder and bumping. Look for the Kitemark stamped on the face of the cylinder or on the key.

If your enhanced security doorset was certificated to an older version of PAS 24 then you should check the security of the locking mechanism, the cylinder and the hardware with the door supplier/manufacturer or a member of the Master Locksmiths Association. This is because the security of PAS 24 doorsets has improved a great deal since the first ones were manufactured in 1999.  For example, bump and snap resistant cylinders did not become a requirement of PAS 24 until 30 November 2008. A Master Locksmith will be able to check the components used in the door and possibly upgrade them.  That being said the best advice might be to upgrade the entire doorset, because although upgrading the cylinder and door handle might well improve the security of those elements, the overall security of the door assembly is the function of all the individual components working together. (At the time of updating this section (August 2014) a new PAS 24:2012 composite doorset bought in London cost £850 - installed)  

Be aware that you may invalidate the warranty on your doorset if you carry out work on it without first seeking agreement from the people who have issued the warranty.

USEFUL LINK  This link to The Master Locksmiths Association gives some excellent additional guidance about lock snapping 

Another solution developed to prevent cylinder snapping and bumping has been the introduction of a multi-point lock that uses the more traditional lever lock mechanism to drive it. A lock by the name of 'Vectis' can be found on the internet. Search 'Vectis Lock'.

The Dark side of Alarms

Finally, I've added this new page, which takes a brief look at how just a few alarm companies use cold calling to sell you an alarm at an inflated price, based on my own experience of dealing with such a cold call.

© The Crime Prevention Website - A word about Copyright!

All of my original writings on The Crime Prevention Website are protected by Copyright, which means that I have control over who may use it.  This does not mean that I wish to stop everyone using some of the content, but I reserve the right to limit that use.

These are my rules:

News items that appear on my News Page, Facebook Page and in G+ may be reused by anyone providing a reference is made to the source. This may be The Crime Prevention Website, but it may also be the original source for the story, such as a newspaper or police force. If the news item is reproduced on a website or in an email please also embed a link to the source.

If you would like to copy information from somewhere else on my website you will need my permission to do that.  If you are the police, a charity, a neighbourhood watch an academic institution, or run a community site I will very likely give permission.  If you want to use my information for business purposes and we don't have an existing commercial relationship then I probably won't give permission.

If I have given permission you must put the following sentence at the bottom of the extract you are using:

© The Crime Prevention Website This article has been reproduced with the permission of Calvin Beckford at The Crime Prevention Website

The content of my Newsletter may only be reused by subscribers to the newsletter. The same requirements as described above apply. 

As you can imagine I have spent many hundreds of hours writing my stuff and I need to protect it. Also, if reproduced content carries a link to my website it helps me with visitor numbers and also helps the reader find even more information.

Four years ago I had the entire contents of my book  Home Security - the complete handbook copied onto a 'Ad Farm' website and it took me and the publishers ages to get the site closed down, so I'm naturally a bit sensitive to copying without permission.

My website is all about spreading the crime prevention message and I am very keen to help police and neighbourhood watches do that.  If you would like to use my content you only need to drop me an email. 

   The Home Security Survey – the results

At the time of writing 3,008 surveys had been completed. This gives a figure of 3.48 per day.  This is a tiny bit down again from my last newsletter report of 3.57, but some of this reduction will be due to lower visitor numbers over the summer as people are away on holiday. I’m obviously hoping that the figure will rise again when I next report.  Don’t forget that I really need to be hitting that 5,000 figure before I can warrant further additional programming by Ben to enable me to look at the 8 different dwelling types in more depth.

So once again, ladies and gentlemen, I really do need your help.  If you are from a website that links to mine please can you add a little extra to that link which promotes the Home Security Survey?

You can also

  • Embed a link to it somewhere prominent on your website
  • Publish a short news item on your website. Bingham Neighbourhood Watch did this for me on their news page, for which I am very grateful  
  • Tell people about it on Facebook and Twitter
  • Make reference to it in your next Newsletter

Please emphasise that the survey is anonymous and that they WILL NOT receive any further communication from my website other than the email with their survey results. We NEVER give visitor details to third parties.

The Top 10 Counties in the UK for taking the survey this period are:

Buckinghamshire (1st) Berkshire (2nd), London (3rd), Hampshire and Cumbria (=4th), Essex (6th), Surrey (7th), Lancashire and West Midlands (=8th), Kent (10th) Hampshire is again the biggest climber this period and my thanks goes to the police and Watches in the area who have been prompting the survey.

The Top 10 States in the US for taking the survey this period are:

Ohio and Washington (=1st), Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Iowa, New York

 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 and embed links back to the source where appropriate.

Most read news items this period (in order)

  1. Met Police warning over firm's cold calling
  2. Could this burglary have been prevented?
  3. What to do about nuisance telephone calls
  4. Monty Pythons Ministry of Silly Walks game launched today
  5. I wonder if you keep a tidy car
  6. Think about your security when out in the garden
  7. Do not get hoodwinked by security company claims
  8. Do not leave home without checking the Holiday Security Checklist
  9. Bike thief caught after Met officers quick thinking
  10. What is causing these crime reductions
  11. Help others not fall victim to a distraction burglary

Website pages most viewed via Twitter (in order)

  1. Could this burglary have been prevented?(News)
  2. Welcome to The Crime Prevention Website (Home Page)
  3. Neighbourhood and Home Watch Week begins tomorrow(News)
  4. Home Security Survey - DIY (Advice page)
  5. Holiday checklist for your security (Advice page)
  6. Spend money on crime prevention instead of prisons Chris Grayling told (News)
  7. Catalytic converter theft (Advice page)
  8. Nuisance Telephone Calls (Advice page)
  9. Accommodation (Advice page - Security for students)
  10. Bike thief caught after Met officers quick thinking (News)

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!

Where do I get my news from?

  • Press releases sent to me by a selection of the UK’s police services
  • Websites specialising in gathering news headlines for crime prevention
  • Partnering websites and supporters
  • Online newspapers
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

If you would like me to feature a crime prevention initiative you are engaged with please get in touch using Contact on the main website or my email address if you have it.

   Crime prevention products

One of the reasons I enjoy running this website is that I often get approached by people with innovative new products and services to prevent crime. Whilst the technology being used by BON-TAG is not new its application most certainly is. BON-TAG has been developed by a Bonsai enthusiast specifically for the protection of Bonsai trees and their pots, whether they are kept inside the house or a conservatory or outside in the garden or in a glass house.

Bonsai trees are very valuable, but just as importantly they can represent an investment of many years of dedication and care, something that is difficult to put a price on.   The loss of a Bonsai (and many do get stolen) must be a heart-rending experience for the owner.

Garden crime, as I’ve said many times, is one of those categories of crime that has not fallen as quickly as all the rest.  This is due in part to much better security for our homes, which has thrown the emphasis for theft on the much less protected property and outbuildings in our gardens.  At the same time stolen property is easier to dispose of because of the growth in car boot sales and on-line markets.

This means that there’s never been a more important time to mark our property in some way so that should it be recovered by the police or someone who cares about another’s loss there is a high chance that it can be returned to the owner.

This is why I am delighted that Bonsai enthusiast, Martin Unwin, has chosen to join our Directory with what is the world’s first dedicated security identification & theft deterrent system for Bonsai.

BON-TAG utilises well established and proven RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) microchip technology to permanently tag the Bonsai and or its pot.

The thing about RFID chips is that they don’t need a power supply and once programmed the code cannot be altered.  They’re also the size of a grain of rice and so ideal for implanting into a small Bonsai. They can also be used to protect valuable bonsai pots as well.  What’s more the same chips can be used for the identification of many other valuable items in the garden, such as other rare plants and shrubs, ornamental trees, valuable pots & containers, statuary and garden machinery and equipment.  Once tagged the owner simply registers the item on UK National Property Register.

In the event that the legal ownership of a tagged Bonsai or other chipped property is in dispute or stolen and recovered, the ownership can be verified by the police or other bona fide holder who has a dedicated scanner to reveal the unique ID number.

The product is supplied with full instructions for implanting and tamperproof warning labels to inform potential thieves that the Bonsai is tagged, identifiable and traceable.

For more information about BON-TAG please visit their Directory page from where you can link to their website or send them a message.


And finally...

On the subject of calling the police in an emergency

Back in the old days, before call centres, each police station in the Metropolitan Police used to deal directly with many incoming calls from the public, some of which were actually really urgent (and they should have dialled 999) and some of which were not really for the police at all.  The police officer taking the calls was called ‘The Reserve’.

One night duty I was the Reserve at Acton Police Station for the week when the phone rang.

I answered the call “Acton Police Station, how can I help you?”  

“Hello”, said the caller, “I’m in need of some urgent help” 

“Tell me what the problem is sir” I replied. 

“My toilet’s blocked and I need your help to unblock it”.

“Sir”, I responded (in a possibly irritated, but nevertheless polite manner). “The police service carries out many duties to help the public; some of which are not particularly pleasant, but unblocking toilets is not one of them.  What you need is a plumber and I fail to see why you think this matter is urgent” 

“It’s urgent because I urgently need a pee” came his obviously frustrated reply.

“Then I strongly suggest you urgently call an emergency plumber and pee in a bucket!” I replied, helpfully.

“Oh yeh, I never thought of that”, he admitted.

I’ll never forget that one!


OK, that’s it for this month. Newsletter 13 (unlucky for some!) will be published around the end of October, just when the witches will be flying!

Keep safe and Keep 'em peeled!