The Crime Prevention Website


When I go for a walk around my neighbourhood I am always amazed at the number of houses I find where I can peer in through the windows and see what they have. Maybe it’s a new curved HD TV hanging on the wall or a pile of presents displayed around the Xmas tree, or perhaps it’s a single person relaxing on the settee. You’ve got to appreciate that burglars go on a walkabouts too for the sole purpose of seeing what there is to steal and so you should not be displaying your stuff (or your vulnerabilities) as if it was a shop window. This problem is particularly evident in the early evenings when lights have been switched on and curtains may not have been drawn.

I often wonder why people do this and I’ve reached the conclusion that either the occupants like showing off their stuff (I can’t help you guys) or, like my wife, they simply hate net curtains!

One possible answer is to do what we’ve done and fit white or very light coloured vertical blinds. They can remain drawn at all times and you can control the vision and light into your home by simply adjusting their angle. At night we just close the blinds and rarely bother with the curtains unless it’s particularly cold.

The other advantage with these blinds is that if you’re away on holiday you can leave them closed up, because they’re not as obvious as permanently closed curtains, which might give away the fact you’re not at home.  This also means that internal lights you have operating on timers (and maybe your Fake TV light) can easily be seen through the blinds from outside suggesting that you are at home.

If vertical blinds are not for you then you should resort to nets. Sorry about that, but this is a real problem and needs to be dealt with. Thin nets will probably need the curtains drawn as well, especially at night, so if you’re away on holiday then this is something to ask a neighbour to do – twice a day. 

If you have no immediate neighbours or you would rather not ask them to help out your alternative will be to install automatic electric curtain tracks or an electric blind.  These can be controlled using photoelectric cell switches or timers, or a combination of both. 

Just remember that it is important to give the impression that you are at home when you’re not and not to display things that a burglar might steal, which might involve a quick smash and grab.

Updated November 2015, August 2017