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Here are some simple precautions to protect yourself inside and outside your home, covering how to secure your home, safety outside your home, scams, identity theft and what to do if you are affected by crime.
For more detailed information on personal security at home or out and about download our guide Staying safe from the box on the right. Another guide, Avoiding scams, explains how to protect yourself from bogus callers, pyramid schemes, internet scams and more.
Most burglars are opportunists and they will look for unlocked doors or opened windows to get in.
You can reduce the risk of burglary and make yourself feel safer by taking these steps:
For more advice on preventing burglaries, see our page of burglary prevention advice from the Metropolitan Police.
It is best to get locks and bolts fitted by a qualified locksmith - check whether the locksmith is a member of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) by using the guide on their website.
Contact your local police station and ask to speak to a Crime Prevention Officer for advice on security.
Our HandyVan scheme is a country wide scheme to provide and fit locks and spy holes etc free of charge.
Visible burglar alarms will deter opportunist burglars and increase the security of your home.
Attacks on people by strangers in public places are rare and violent crime accounts for a small part of all recorded crime.
You can reduce the risk of attack further:
Scams can take a variety of forms such as unsolicited prize draws, lotteries or windfalls, pyramid schemes, clairvoyant scams and emails and text messages linked to a premium rate telephone line.
To protect yourself from scams:
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, or if you suspect a scam, call Consumer Direct for advice on 08454 04 05 06 (lo-call rate) or visit the Consumer Direct website.
In identity theft criminals use your personal information to carry out fraud on your bank accounts or to use your name in another fraudulent way.
To keep your bank account safe:
For more information see the Home Office's identity theft website.
Victim Support is a national charity that provides free and confidential information and support to victims of crime, whether or not they report the crime to the police. It also runs a Witness Service, which helps people who are going to court, before, during and after the trial. Visit the Victim Support website.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) compensates victims of crime who have suffered a personal injury or trauma. This compensation is not available to replace stolen or damaged possessions that are not covered by insurance.See the CICA website for claim details. Your local Victim Support scheme or Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you with your application.
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Download our full guide to personal security at home or out and about.
Advice on avoiding scams on the internet, bogus callers, prize drawers, pyramid schemes etc.
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We have made every effort to make our PDFs accessible to screen readers. Here is an overview of your accessibility options available in Acrobat Reader. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Reader website to ensure that they are included in your version of the programme.
You can use Adobe Reader to read a PDF out loud with the following shortcut keys:
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You can convert a PDF document into a text file for use with other software and hardware such as Braille printers by opening the PDF and choosing ‘Save as text’ from the File menu.
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