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Police cadets help keep Harpenden residents safer

8 Mar 2018
  • Crime prevention evening on Tuesday March 20 from 7pm at Harpenden Public Hall in Southdown Road.
  • Organised by the St Albans and Harpenden police cadets following an increase in burglaries
  • Free tool engraving and property marking.

Following an increase in burglaries in Harpenden, the St Albans and Harpenden Volunteer Police cadets are running a crime prevention evening to arm residents with simple preventative measures they can take to keep their homes more secure.

The event will take place on Tuesday March 20 at Harpenden Public Hall in Southdown Road between 7pm and 8.30pm. The event includes:

  • Free tool engraving and property security marking.
  • Free crime prevention advice and workshop.
  • Limited free supply of security light timers.
  • Meet your local Safer Neighbourhood team officer and officers from Trading Standards.
  • See a display of products that can help you to secure your home and vehicle.
  • Join Neighbourhood Watch and receive emails about crime in your local area.

St Albans Chief Inspector Shane O’Neill said: “In line with the rest of the county, and country, we have seen an increase in burglaries in St Albans, Harpenden and London Colney. We are making arrests, targeting suspects and have increased patrols. Residents can also do their bit by taking on board crime prevention advice including giving their homes the ‘lived-in’ look by leaving a light on when it gets dark and investing in CCTV and other web-based cameras.

He said: “Burglars prey on houses with less security as they do not want to get caught and they want the line of least resistance. By having effective security, you can greatly reduce the chance of being burgled. The list below is not exhaustive but is a good foundation to deter an opportunist burglar.” He advises:

  • A house alarm monitored and responded to by an alarm company
  • Stronger locks on doors and windows
  • Use of timer switches on lights and radios to give the impression of activity in the house
  • CCTV security cameras
  • Motion-activated video doorbells which store images to a server
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property when you're not there (putting out/collecting bins etc)
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Ensure rear fencing is in good repair
  • Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property, eg trim high hedges
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
  • Store any high value items (eg jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault
  • Sign up to Neighbourhood Watch via OWL (Online Watch Link) which sends you the latest local crime alerts.

He added: “I’m very grateful to the police cadets for running this event to help prevent burglaries and help keep residents in Harpenden safer.”

Cadet Leader, Police Sergeant Steve Alison, said: “This is a great opportunity for residents to speak to their local police officers and PCSOs from the Harpenden and Rural Safer Neighbourhood Team; receive free property engraving and security marking; pick up crime prevention advice and find out how to join Neighbourhood Watch so you can receive free emails about crime in your area. There’s no need to book. We hope dozens of residents can make it.”

The volunteer police cadets, who are aged from 14 to 18, will be running the workshop, doing the engraving and giving out crime prevention advice.

If you are unable to make it, you can pick up crime prevention advice from your local safer neighbourhood officers whilst they are out and about, at advertised police surgeries or you can call 101. To receive emails from Neighbourhood Watch, sign up to the Online Watch Link (OWL) via 

For the latest news, follow the Harpenden and Rural Team @HarpendenPolice on Twitter.

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