The prevention of burglary, house breaking, and theft offences
The Police Service is increasingly concerned about the escalating occurrences of breakings in the country. The public is losing valuables such as electronic devices and other goods at an alarming rate. Criminals are opportunists, hence are mostly attracted to places that seem to be not protected. In addition, they intensify their activities during public holidays and mostly between the hours of 0730 and 1630 hrs when occupants are out at work.
According to the laws of Botswana, burglary relates to an act of breaking and entering a dwelling house at night while house breaking takes place in a dwelling house at day time. House owners are always at the risk of becoming the next statistics of these offences. They are advised to be security conscious.
The following hints will assist to ensure neighbourhoods are more secure.
- Always lock up; Don’t overlook the obvious. Doors and windows should be locked not only when we leave the house but when we are elsewhere in the house; on the phone, or otherwise preoccupied away from points of entry
- Cut away the camouflage; Debush the surroundings of your home. Burglars love camouflage and trees; shrubs can be advantageous. Intruders can be clearly seen in your front or the backyard if bushes are trimmed.
- Deadlock the main door; The main door is the most likely point of entry and should be your first priority. A key operated deadlock on solid timber door is the safest option. If intruders get into your house through another entry a key operated deadlock on the main door will make it more difficult for them to carry stolen goods out.
- Secure all windows; Install burglar protective bars in all the windows. That way the burglar will take too long to break into your home.
- Light up at night; Keep the yard lit at night or install movement-activated sensor lights.
- Lock the side gates; Side gates are easily overlooked. They should always be securely locked.
- Tame a dog; Consider keeping a dog. Even if you do not own one think about hanging a “BEWARE OF THE DOG” sign at any outside gates. If burglars are casing the place the prospects of burglar – unfriendly dog can be good enough reason for many to beat a retreat.
- Install burglar alarm; The best alarms to complement other forms of household security are highly visible, audible, back-to-base alarms linked to a security service that monitors and responds to their call.
- Lock up meter box; Locking up your meter box prevents thieves interfering with your power supply or sensor light system.
- Keep tools locked in a safe place; Sheds and garages are usually the repository of tools and other implements intruders use to assist in a break-in keep them padlocked. If there is a connecting door between the garage and your house, ensure it is always locked.
- Plan ahead for absences or holidays; An empty house invites criminals. Never leave your house obviously unoccupied, even briefly. Replace any ageing locks.
- Prepare for emergency; Ensure your house number is clearly visible. If you have to call the police or other emergency services, they should be able to find your house quickly.
- Know your Neighbour; It is an important thing to know your neighbours and form a good neighboury relation. A trusted neighbour will always monitor your house during your absence and report any suspicious things.
- Join Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in your area; The concept of neighbourhood watch is very important in that residents get to know all members of the locality and their movements. Strangers can easily be identified and the undesirable elements can be eradicated before they actually commit offences.
Burglars do not often keep the property they steal. They just want to dispose it as fast as they can for as much money as they can get. Burglars would not want to take property which is marked for fear of being caught. Therefore marking your property can save you of it. You can mark your property by having it engraved. Marked property can easily be identified before courts.
NB. Always keep valuable securities in respect of your property e.g. receipts for proof of ownership.