Council housing - community safety
We can all help bring crime down. Most crime is against property, not people and are committed on the spur of the moment - possessions left in a car or a door or window to a house left open. But you can reduce the risk by securing your home and car. We work with the police to resolve community safety issues and welcome suggestions for improvement from tenants.
The chances you, or a member of your family will be a victim of crime are low. Crimes and especially violent crimes in Tandridge are still comparatively rare. Many people are frightened they, or someone close to them, will be the victim of crime.The best way to minimise the risks of crime are by taking sensible precautions.
- Use only your surname and initials in the telephone directory and on the doorplate. That way a stranger won't know if a man or a woman lives there.
- If you see signs of a break-in at your home, like a smashed window or open door, don't go in. Go to a neighbour and call the police.
- If you are selling your home, don't show people around on your own. Ask your estate agent to send a representative with anyone who wants to view your house.
- When you answer the phone, simply say 'hello'; don't give your number. If the caller claims to have a wrong number, ask him or her to repeat the number required. Never reveal any information about yourself to a stranger and never say you are alone in the house.
- If you receive an abusive or threatening phone call, put the receiver down beside the phone, and walk away. Come back a few minutes later and replace the receiver; don't listen to see if the caller is still there. Don't say anything - an emotional reaction is just what the caller wants. If the calls continue, tell the police and the operator and keep a record of the date, time and content of each phone call.
Burglars like easy opportunities. They don't like locked windows because breaking glass attracts attention. They don't like security deadlocks on doors because they cannot open them even from the inside and they have to get out through a window.
- Looking after your home: Make sure your front door is secure. Fit hinge bolts which stop someone pulling the door from its hinges. And fix a special steel strip into the door frame. If your council house or flat is not secure, ask the Council to improve security.
- Door entry systems: If your block does not have a telephone entry system, talk to the Council about putting one in. If you do have a telephone entry system, don't let strangers in or hold the door open for someone who is arriving as you are leaving.
- Strangers: Be alert to people loitering in residential streets. If you don't recognise them, call the police. If hear an intruder in your house, only you can decide how to handle the situation. You may lie quietly to avoid attracting attention to yourself, or you may feel more confident if you switch on the lights and make a lot of noise. If you're on your own, call out loudly to an imaginary companion - most burglars will flee empty-handed rather than risk a confrontation. Ring the police as soon as you can - keep a phone in your bedroom.
- Burglar alarms: Visible burglar alarms make burglars think twice.
- Front door roof: A thief could reach first floor windows from this roof - so fit window locks.
- Gates and fences: A high wall or fence at the back of a house can put off a burglars. A thorny hedge along a boundary can also be a deterrent. Make sure the front of the house is visible to passers by, so a burglar can't work unseen.
- Small windows: Even small windows like casement windows, skylights or bathroom fanlights need locks. A thief can get in through any gap larger than a human head.
- Spare keys: Never leave a spare key in a hiding place like under a doormat, in a flowerpot or inside a letterbox - a thief will look there first. Don't give keys to workmen or tradesmen, as they can easily make copies.
- Garages and sheds: Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house. Lock tools and ladders away so that a thief cannot use them to break in.
- Side passages: Stop a thief getting to the back of the house by fitting a high gate across the passage.
- Look for a public car park that is well supervised, with restricted entry and exit points, good lighting and security cameras. In multi-storey car parks, choose a visible bay.
- Car parks can be a target for thieves. The Secured Car Park scheme aims to make car parks safer by setting high crime prevention standards of internal design and layout. To find out about Secured Car Parks in your area, contact the crime prevention officer at your local police station.
Other ways you can help
You can help by simply being alert and observant when out and about in your neighbourhood - or you could apply to join the local Neighbourhood Watch or Special Constabulary.
- Roads, footpaths and subways: report streets, footpaths and subways which are not well lit.
- Home insurance: does your insurance company offer discounts on home insurance if you are a member of Neighbourhood Watch? If not, find an insurance company which does.
- Mobile Phones: Every mobile phone has a unique IMEI number - Dial *#06# to get yours and make a note of it so that if it is stolen, you can give it to the police to help recover, or to your service provider to stop the phone being used by anyone else.
Tackling anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour can range from noisy neighbours to neighbourhood disputes and from aggressive or threatening behaviour to vandalism.
Some of this behaviour is unlawful and some of this behaviour is simply a nuisance. But it raises the fear of crime, lowers the standard of an area and often leads to areas becoming crime hot spots.
We are committed to challenging and reducing such behaviour and are keen to tackle the problems of anti social behaviour.
We work with the police and housing associations to reduce the problems, through Anti Social Behaviour Orders (targeted at the most intractable of offenders) and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC's). The Council also operates an Introductory Tenancy scheme to deter new tenants from breaching their tenancy conditions.
Let us know of any problems immediately.
Developing a Local Neighbourhood Watch
Neighbourhood Watch schemes are a way for people in an area to get together to help prevent crime and make their neighbourhood a safer place. Neighbourhood Watch is known as Home Watch in some areas, but both work along similar lines and are built on the same idea - of looking after one another and the neighbourhood.
Groups can vary in size, depending on the area and what people want. They target local concerns - like burglary, vandalism or graffiti and devise ways of dealing with them. Individual members decide how active they want to be in the scheme. You could become a committee member or even co-ordinator of a group - or your part could be just keeping an eye on your neighbours' houses while they're away.
Schemes develop close links with the police, who can provide advice and information about local problems. Well run schemes can have a big impact on local crime.
The Council's Community Safety Strategy
The Council's Community Safety Plan has been produced in partnership with Surrey County Council and Surrey Police. It sets out our joint plans for reducing crime and disorder within the district.
More information can be found in the Community safety section.
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