Here's some general home and personal security precautions.
- Don’t leave door keys in obvious hiding places like under the mat, or flowerpot, in the letter box etc. Burglars find them.
- Don't leave ladders, tools, gardening implements, lawnmowers and bicycles lying around your property. They can attract criminals and may even be used to gain entry to your home.
- Don't leave garage doors and windows open, they can be attractive to criminals. If you like to leave your windows open, put security fittings on them.
- Lock your doors and windows even if you go out for a short time and especially at night. Many burglars just walk in through an unlocked door or window.
- Change the locks when you move into a new house.
- Your house should appear occupied at all times. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off when you're not at home.
- If you arrive home and you think there has been a burglary, don't go inside; an intruder may still be there. Go to a neighbour and telephone the police.
Exterior home security tips
Make sure you can see what is going on outside your house from the windows. If you have trees and shrubs that prevent you from seeing your yard, you may not notice someone trying to break-in or vandalise your property. Keep trees and bushes trimmed on your section.
- Thorny plants along the fence can discourage prowlers from climbing over. Fully enclosed fencing with a gate creates a barrier. Prowlers are less likely to target a property with restricted escape routes.
- Fit exterior sensor lights to deter prowlers. At night a sensor light near the front door will provide good visibility of the surrounding area.
- Join neighbourhood support. Display neighbourhood support, beware of dog and burglar alarm signs, these can discourage criminals.
- Good neighbours should look out for each other. Get to know your neighbours on each side of your home, talk often and establish trust. Good neighbours will watch out for your home when you're away.
- Lock away expensive gardening equipment such as lawnmowers.
- Lock your car door when not in use.
- Put a ‘no junk mail' sign on your letterbox. When you go away on holiday cancel your paper delivery.
If you’re building a new fence, remember that solid panel fences can invite tagging, consider:
- planting a hedge
- put up an open wire fence or pool type fencing
- use a rough-cast finish
- spaced timber battens or patterns
- For walls, consider the surface finish and how easy it will be to remove any tagging.
Use stepped fencing. This allows you see the front and side of a house while still providing security and privacy to your backyard. Criminals are less likely to commit offences or anti-social behaviour when there is a high chance they can be seen.
Home security tips
Some basic measures to increase home security are:
- Fit deadlocks to external doors and internal-access garage doors.
- Fit lockable bolts to ranch-sliders and french doors.
- Fit door viewers and security chains on your front and back doors.
- Secure louvre windows by gluing them into the fittings or replace them with an alternative window style.
- Consider installing a burglar alarm.
Burglars almost always “case” a home before breaking in. If you see suspicious people around your neighbourhood, let your neighbours know and if necessary, contact the police.
Mark your personal property with tracking materials like Selecta DNA. If your personal property is stolen it may be able to be traced back to you and help catch the thief.
Record serial numbers of vehicles, bicycles and electronics. This way stolen items may be identified and returned to you.
Avoid walking home in the dark. Take a taxi or get your friends or family to drive you home. If you do walk home, carry a personal security alarm. Activating it will alert others that you need help.
Pamphlet - Home and Personal Security (1.63MB)
Link - Graffiti
Website - New Zealand Police (external link)