Top tips from Tower Hamlets borough commander Ch Supt Dave Stringer on keeping your home safe while on holiday


- Credit: Archant

I hope you and your families are enjoying the sunny weather and are now looking forward to your summer break. If you are lucky enough to be going away please ask yourself “Have you taken steps to make sure that your home is secure in your absence?”

Becoming a victim of crime while you are away has the potential to completely ruin a relaxing break. Leaving your home empty, even for a week, does make it vulnerable to thieves. Unless, you take steps to make it appear occupied.

This can easily be achieved by putting some lights and even a radio on an automatic timer switch. Don’t leave any valuable items in places where they can be seen from outside, and make sure that you have cancelled newspaper or milk deliveries. Ask someone to collect your mail if it can be seen from outside your front door. A pile of mail, milk or newspapers at your door is a sure sign that the home is empty. If you don’t have anyone who can collect your mail, it may be worth investing in the Royal Mail “Keepsafe” service. This service can be set up within five working days and mail can be held for up to two months.

Before you leave for your holiday, make a final examination of your property and ensure that all window and door locks are ‘locked.’ Check that any sheds or outbuildings that you have are secured and that no tools are accessible that could help a burglar get into your home.

Please remember to prepare your home security in advance. In the excitement of planning your trip, it is easy to forget that opportunist burglars could take advantage of your home being empty and the completion of a burglary report is not the welcome home that we would wish for you. If you would like more information on home security please contact your Safer Neighbourhoods Team or visit

My officers will be conducting plain clothed and highly visible patrols as always and I urge anyone who sees something or someone who looks suspicious to dial 999. Working together we can prevent burglary in your area. I wish you all a happy and safe summer, wherever you plan to spend it.

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