The Crime Prevention Website


   Celebrating One Million Page views and Half a Million Visitors!

Monday 17th November 2014

Dear Friend in Crime Prevention

Thank you for taking Newsletter Number 13 from the The Crime Prevention Website

Back when I was putting together material for Newsletter No. 12 I was just about to jet off to my friends in Northern Cyprus for a couple of weeks in the sun, which was great. Now, here I am, sat in my shed (office) at the bottom of the garden listening to the rain lashing down around me. What a difference a few weeks can make!

However, for every cloud (and there’s plenty currently above my head) there’s always that silver lining, which in this case is being represented by the fact that our website has soared through the 1 million page views mark and had half a million individual visitors!  We’re so pleased about hitting these milestones and once again it’s you we’ve got to thank – so THANK YOU! – for your support and promotion of the site.

I think I said last time that issue 12 was going to be a little shorter than normal, but it didn’t turn out to be the case.  This time, though, it WILL be shorter as I’m in the middle of a couple of security consultancy jobs for a major house builder and there’s a bit of a rush on one of them.  I try to share my time equally between running this website and earning a living and just occasionally it does get a little bit too much – sorry about that.


   The Crime Prevention Website – how are we doing?

Visitor numbers

As of 4 November 2014 we’d received 594,950 visits since launch (91,375 more since Newsletter Number 12) who between them have viewed 1.059,051 pages.  October this year broke all previous records and is now our best month for visits, visitors and page views, with page views in particular up by 14% on the previous best month, April 2014. This rise in visitor numbers beginning this autumn is not a surprise and I would expect the current rate to continue right through to the end of the year (hopefully with a few more on top!).

Visitors to our website get there by a number of different routes and here’s how they break down:

  • 63% find us by carrying out a search on the internet and our site pops up on the first page of the results, or maybe the second or third.
  • 24% find us by some unknown method or route; basically a way in which Google can’t establish, although some of these will be referrals from other websites
  • 10% find us directly by typing in our address or clicking on their 'favourites' tab where we’re listed!
  • 2% are referred to us from other websites, although that figure is more like 5% if measured in a different way (don’t ask, because I don’t understand it either!)
  • 1% find us through social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn, but again this figure is artificially low and is probably more like 5%.

Therefore it’s important for me to ask you to keep doing your bit to promote the site to your friends, colleagues, family, butcher, baker, candlestick maker and so on.  It’s a free site and we would like more people to know about it and act on its advice. So, 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 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
  • Come onto the new Forum and have your say about something

Thank you very much! 

Page ranking

We’re still No.1 on Google for the term 'crime prevention', which places us above the Metropolitan Police, and Wikipedia.  And we’re No 1 for 'crime prevention news', placing us above the BBC, Crime Prevention College and the USA’s National Crime Prevention Council.

New Links to the Crime Prevention Website

I’ve only written to a few websites requesting links, but 9 more have come on board giving us a current total of 191 reciprocal links. I did a bit of tidying up a few weeks ago and knocked off 6 sites (sad face) and once Ben’s done a little programming for me I’ll be updating the list entirely and I’ll be dropping some more.

If you run a website and take this newsletter PLEASE think about linking your website to mine and I’ll link back.  Please remember that our site scores quite well in terms of something Google calls ‘authority’ and we’re also well ranked.  This means that your website could even benefit more from a reciprocal link than ours! It’s easy to link -

Here are our new links: 

Police Forces

I mentioned last time that Bedfordshire Police were going to be linking and I’m delighted to say they now have. They are currently repopulating their crime prevention pages, but they’ve very kindly put a link to my site here although they’ve referred to it as the 'Crime Reduction Website'! I’ve heard from Greater Manchester Police again, but I think it’ll be a while longer before they link.  Also, I’ve been in conversation with two other police services about linking.  I’ll keep you posted.

It’s worth mentioning here that of all the sites with which we have reciprocal links (191) the 12 police service sites only account for 7.75% of referrals, with Thames Valley Police, the Met and Hampshire Constabulary accounting for the bulk. This suggests that the public are not visiting police sites very often for crime prevention advice, which is a shame because many of them contain some excellent guidance and what’s more they will often highlight certain crime trends you’ll need to know about.

Neighbourhood Watch and Community Sites

I’ve secured two new links with Neighbourhood Watches this time round. 

Westminster Neighbourhood Watch Association (WNWA) have kindly added a link without letting me know.  I like it when this happens, because it’s a surprise, but it would have been good to know beforehand, because I could have linked back earlier.  I learned from this new link that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has stipulated that each London Borough needs a Neighbourhood Watch Association in place. It allows Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators to work with the council and police to support and improve NHW across Westminster.

WNWA represents and supports all Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the Borough of Westminster, which currently numbers over one hundred – I had no idea!

Nuneaton and Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch Association. This scheme operates through an intranet site, so I can’t really link back in the same way.  I regularly receive their very interesting newsletter, which carries the odd story from our website.  They are still operating a website you can visit, but if you’d like to join or need help and advice please go to this link

We’ve also linked to our first Street Watch - Bedfordshire (UK) Street Watch – presumably from their members only pages as I can’t seem to find the link on the public face of their site.  I know I’m getting referrals from them, because they’ve already got to Bronze medal status. I’m rather pleased about that because the members of street watch help the local police by patrolling their streets to provide visible reassurance and engaging appropriately in local issues that matter to the community. Armed with lots of crime prevention advice from our site will help them do their job, I’m sure.


Occasionally companies provide links to our website if they have relevance to a product they’re selling.  We have no control over this, but by and large the links are usually appropriate and provide additional help and guidance for the potential purchaser of, say doors, windows and alarms. Window Security Solutions is a case in point.  I don’t know them from Adam, but they’ve popped a link to my site from a blog about window security.  As it happens they are a licence holder with the police Secured by Design project, so I know they’re a company that can offer windows and security solutions that will meet with police approval.

Forums and News mentions

Well, last time it was a link on Net Mums’s forum and this time round it’s a link from the very well-known Mumsnet Forum!!  The link was to my page about fences and the law and was placed there by someone who was clearly frustrated by the conversation that was going on.  I ran a news story about it, ‘Be careful where you get your advice from’, which has been one of my most read last month and is referred to below.

Associations and Institutes

It seems like our crime prevention advice for bicycles has hit the spot with two links going in place in Derby.  One with Derby College and the other with Derby Cycling Group – excellent stuff!

Medals Awarded (new regular section)

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.  There are three recipients of Star medals this time round and whilst I keep the number of referrals for medals a closely guarded secret I can assure you they are difficult to achieve!

Here are this month’s medal winners and if you can spare a few moments you might like to visit some of these sites.  All of our linked sites can be found on our Partners page. 





   New Members of the Security Products and Services Directory

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 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

BUT please see below for important changes to our website advertising.

   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.

The following new pages have been added to the website:


Somebody dropped me an email at the beginning of November about Bonfire Night and whether I would be putting out a friendly warning about not throwing fireworks around in the street and so on.  I thought I'd go one better and create a new page on the site for Fireworks.  Whilst doing this I also changed the tab reference previously shown as 'Non Domestic Buildings' to 'Other Crime Prevention'. Other Crime Prevention will now contain new stuff that isn't directly related to home and personal security.  I think it makes more sense doing it this way. I hope you will agree. Click here to read our fireworks advice.

Latest Problem Solving article published

Neil Henson's latest (edited) chapter from his book 'Who Shares Your Problem' is now available to read on the website.

'Thinking creatively' is the fourth article from Neil and the really good news is that we have his permission to publish the last four chapters of his book on the website over the next four months.

We are very grateful to Neil for allowing us to serialise his book on this website and we're sure that those of you dealing with crime prevention problems will benefit enormously from using Neil's clear methods to solve them. 

If you can't wait until we've published all the chapters then you can purchase the full unedited Kindle version of 'Who Shares Your Problem' from Amazon at the link below.  It's also available in paperback.

Purchase: Who Shares Your Problem?

No police officer, PCSO, crime prevention practitioner or Neighbourhood Watcher should the leave home without a copy of Neil's book!

How to use a multi-point locking door

One of my wife's clients was burgled recently and it only happened because she was under the impression that lifting the handle on the inside of the door was all she needed to do to engage the multi-point locks.  She was only half right, because you also need to turn the key to lock them in place. Otherwise a burglar need only press the outside handle down to disengage them.

In her case she had a split spindle operation on the outside door handle, so the burglar simply used a thin bladed tool to insert between the door and the frame to knock back the latching bolt.

Consequently (and not before time) I've put a new page in the door security section that gives an explanation about what a multi-point lock does and how to use it correctly.

Can I suggest to my Neighbourhood Watch readers that you copy the new page or link to it in your next newsletter (See Copyright below). People not using these multi-point locking doors properly are inviting trouble for themselves and many thousands of burglaries are needlessly occurring.

Adverts on the Crime Prevention Website

Some of you keen-eyed Newsletter Subscribers may have noticed that the adverts that appear in the right hand column of most pages on the site have changed.  This is because we've 'teamed up' with Google AdSense in an attempt to raise a little extra income to pay for the running costs.  In simple terms we get paid point something of a penny to maybe a couple of pence when an advert is clicked on or has been displayed a set number of times, although it is more complicated than that when you look into it.

The ads are chosen by Google's special algorithms to benefit visitors by showing them ads that are most relevant to them. Sometimes this is relevant to the content of the page they appear on, sometimes they may be targeted more to the interests of the visitor.

It's all clever stuff really, but the point I want to make, and it's an important one, is that Ben and I have no control over the adverts that appear and therefore do not know anything about the companies, their products or their services.  Please bear this in mind when you are using the site.

The EXCELLENT companies that we most certainly do know about are in our Directory and should you be looking for a service or product to improve your security we would urge you to take a look there first.

And just in case anyone thinks we're earning a fortune out of this I am sorry to report that we don't! I've calculated that it's enough to pay for the URL's, the email addresses, the website hosting company, stamps, printer ink, paper, electricity, my subscription to Astronomy Now, a few takeaway curries throughout the year and 2 pints of real ale per month.  My main income is from the security consultancy service I provide even though the website is my first true love (after Julia).

©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 PageFacebook 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, which includes all of my advice pages, to be used on your website you will need my permission to do that.  If you are the police, a local authority, a charity, a neighbourhood watch an academic institution, or run a community site I will very likely give permission, BUT we will ask you to place a permanent link to The Crime Prevention Website from your website and we will link back. In other words you'll need to become a Partner.

If you would like to copy information from somewhere else on my website, which includes all of my advice pages to be used on something like a paper leaflet or newsletter you will need my permission to do that. If you also run a website we will ask you to place a permanent link to The Crime Prevention Website from your website and we will link back. In other words you'll need to become a Partner.

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 3,336 surveys had been completed. This gives a figure of 3.54 per day which is up on the figure of 3.48 per day given in the last newsletter.  This probably reflects the time of year and the fact that people have been getting ready for the earlier darker nights. I need to be hitting that 5,000 figure before I can warrant further additional programming by Ben so we can look at the 8 different dwelling types in more depth.

So once again, 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:

  1. Buckinghamshire
  2. Berkshire
  3. London
  4. Essex (Up from 6th)
  5. Hampshire (Down from =4th)
  6. Cumbria (Down from =4th)
  7. Surrey
  8. Lancashire
  9. West Midlands (Down from =8th)
  10. Kent
  11. Glamorgan is just below!


 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.

The reason for providing these lists and the links back to the source is that these are the stories and the website pages that have been of interest to my visitors this time round.  This information might then be helpful if you want to promote a certain aspect of security.  I’m going to keep a record of these findings so that I can maybe predict the needs of my visitors during the course of the year.

Something I find quite interesting is that my pages for lighting, although visited a lot, have not appeared in the top ten of any of the categories.  I find this a little strange since I’ve been promoting security lighting a lot on my news pages and on Twitter.  Perhaps this is because people work on their lights during the summer – maybe.

Most read news items this period (In order)

  1. Why some people get burgled more than others
  2. CCTV for Home and Business
  3. Fourteen Sheds and Garages burgled in just one night
  4. Be careful where you get your advice from
  5. Trick or Treat is not fun for everyone
  6. Halloween is closing in
  7. How effective is property marking
  8. Not the best review for the August Smart Lock
  9. Tidying up the garden this weekend?
  10. New Essex Police Community Messaging System launched today

Website pages most viewed via Twitter (In order)

  1. More things to improve door security
  2. Cumbria Police warning Do not be fooled by telephone scams (News)
  3. Property and plants at risk and what to do
  4. Welcome to The Crime Prevention Website (Home Page)
  5. Be careful where you get your advice from (News)
  6. Glazing for domestic security
  7. Practising Safe Steps
  8. Nuisance Telephone Calls
  9. Trick or Treat is not fun for everyone (News)
  10. About the author

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.

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. This list is very similar to Newsletter 12 except that ‘Security for the garage’ got double the visits this time round and moved from 10th to 5th in the list; Mortice locks drops out of the list to be replaced by the Home Page. I’m stretching it a bit, but this might suggest that people work on their mortice locks in the summer months and then the garage in the autumn.  Also, someone has very kindly been promoting the site as landings on the Home page trebled!

  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. Security for the garage
  6. Home Page
  7. More things to improve door security
  8. Glazing for domestic security
  9. Locking sliding sash windows
  10. Security shutters, grilles and door gates


And finally...

A young woman, a pullover and a porch

It was 8:15 in the morning during the winter of ‘83 when I took a call to a private house in Acton (West London) to help a young lady in distress. I was clearly the right man for the job.

On arrival I could just make out a woman’s voice coming from the letter plate in the front door. I walked up to the door and opened up the letter plate to be confronted by a young woman dressed only in a pair of knickers. She was trapped between the deadlocked porch door and the inner door.

Whilst averting my gaze (naturally) I asked her how she had found herself in this predicament.

She told me that this was her friend’s house who had already gone off to work.  She had been staying there because she had a job interview at a company in Shepherds Bush, just down the road.  Her friend had asked her to bring in the mail before she left for the interview and as she was bending down to pick up the post the inner door had closed on her, locking her in the porch.

The poor shivering lady had been standing there for 45 minutes trying to get the attention of passersby before a neighbour heard her cries and, at her request, called the police.

Seeing she was in a bit of a state I removed my regulation uniform jumper and, bit by bit, managed to push it through the letter plate so that she could cover her embarrassment.  I then went in search of an open window to see if I could get into the house to let her in.  Everything was well locked up and so I selected a small window round the back which I could smash and force an entry.

Before I took this step I went back to the front and asked the lady if my plan would be appropriate, because she’d have to call a glazier straight afterwards to make the place secure.  She was more than happy with my idea, so I got her to sign my pocket book, giving me permission for the plan of action.

It was at that moment that a better idea came into my head.

I said to the lady “Have you tried barging the door open?”

“I have pushed it a bit, but it seems quite solid” she replied.

“Well, before I start smashing things, how about you give the door one good barge with your shoulder to see if it will spring open, because if it does then at least the house will still be secure and you won’t have to call out a glazier.  You and your friend can re-secure the inner door later when you’ve got the time”

“Okay” she said “I’ll give it a go”

With that and wearing my very thick pullover she shoulder-barged the door with as much gusto as she could render and, 'hey presto!' It flew open!

A few minutes later she unlocked the front door and let me in. 

“Thank you so much for helping me", she said “but it looks like I’ve missed that interview.”

“What time was the interview?" I enquired

“Nine o’clock” came the resigned response.

I said “Quick, get ready and I’ll run you down there!”

In five minutes she was sitting in the police car and we were heading to her interview; getting there at exactly 9am. As she ran from the car I couldn’t help noticing the name of the company that were to be her future employers – The Bush Glaziers.

Of course, I probably shouldn’t have given her that lift, it was probably against regulations, but I did all the same and she got the job!

I found out later that her friend had locked herself out in the same manner on more than one occasion and that’s why the inner door had been so easy to barge open! I bet she wished she’d known that before calling the police!

A policeman’s Halloween experience

A uniformed policeman was walking the beat one Halloween night when he decided to take a short cut across the cemetery to get back to the police station for his 2am refreshment break.

As he plodded his way along the cemetery path in the cold and dark he could hear the sound of someone chiselling just ahead of him.

After tiptoeing for a short distance he shone his regulation torch in the direction of the sound and was able to make out an image of an old man crouching down by one of the headstones holding a mallet with a selection of chisels by his side.

The slightly worried policemen (it was Halloween after all) spoke to the old man and said “Blimey, you had me worried; I thought you were a ghost!

“But what are you doing working on that headstone so late at night?”

The old man turned around slowly and replied “It’s my family’s fault, they’ve misspelled my name and I’ve been putting it right”

Well that’s the excuse the policeman gave to his sergeant when he arrived late at the station.

Could it have been true?

That's it folks!  Next Newsletter will be just before Christmas (already that close!)

Keep safe and Keep 'em peeled!