Crime prevention

Women out walking

Security in your home


Most burglars are opportunists and they will look for unlocked doors or opened windows to get in.

Securing your doors and windows

Two-thirds of burglars gain entry through a door and one third get in through a window. Fitting your doors and windows with good locks can go a long way to deterring them. You can fit your front door with the following:

  • An automatic rim latch lock (also called a nightlatch). These can be opened from the inside without a key.
  • A five-lever mortice deadlock with kitemark BS3621.
  • A letter-box cage to prevent thieves tampering with locks through the letter box.
  • Fit your back door with a five-lever mortice deadlock. Fit both sides of French doors with a security mortice lock and mortice bolt, and get advice on fitting locks to patio doors.

You can make outside doors stronger by:

  • fitting hinge bolts for extra security
  • replacing glass panels with laminated glass to make them more difficult to break (or buy special film to stick on that will have the same effect)
  • fitting a peephole and security chain to your front door.
  • Fit window locks with keys to all your downstairs windows and any others that are easy to reach. Keep window keys in a safe place, out of sight and reach. Keep them close to the window so that you can find them easily if you needed to escape in the event of fire, but not on the windowsill.

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.

Some local Age Cymru organisations run handyperson schemes that may be able to provide and fit locks and spy holes. Alternatively, if you live in any of the following postcode areas you may be eligible for similar services from the Age Cymru HandyVan service: CF3, CF5, CF10, CF11, CF14, CF15, CF23, CF24, CF64.

Locking up

  • Lock all outside doors and check all your windows are locked. Even if you're just popping out for a few minutes, lock up fully before you go.
  • If you have a carer or relative with their own key, make sure they securely fasten your door on their way out.
  • Keep your ladder and garden tools locked away.
  • Keep your keys, including your car keys, in a safe place. Don't leave them in the locks or lying around the house. Remember, the first places a burglar will look for your door key is under the doormat, in a flower-pot or on a piece of string through the letter box.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Leave a front room light on if you go out for the evening and consider leaving the radio on. Draw the curtains, leaving a gap at the top so the light can be seen from outside.

Security devices

  • Outdoor lighting not only acts as a deterrent, but also makes it easier to find your way if you're coming or going after dark. You can install a low-level light that automatically switches on from dusk until dawn. Or you can get a light that switches on when it senses movement outside your home.
  • Visible burglar alarms will deter opportunist burglars and increase the security of your home.

Your valuables

Think about marking your possessions with your postcode and the number of your house or flat. This deters burglars because it makes stolen property harder to sell. Ask your local Neighbourhood Watch or enquire at your local police station for help with this.


If you go away

Keep your home safe if you're going to be away for a longer time:

  • Cancel your regular deliveries (if a burgler sees parcels or newspapers on your doorstep, it's easier to tell that you're away.
  • Don't close curtains or blinds, as they are a giveaway during the day.
  • Plug a lamp into a time switch that will automatically turn on in the evenings while you're away. But don't leave it in a room that passers-by can see into when the light is on.
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home for you.
  • Check your building and contents insurance is up to date. 


Safety outside the home

Out walking

  • Stick to well-lit, busy roads and plan your route before you go.
  • Keep your bag close to you and don’t keep everything in it. For example, keep your keys and mobile in an inside coat pocket.
  • Don’t carry large sums of money.
  • Before you use a cash machine, check that no one's hovering behind you.
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your belongings beside you rather than hanging them on the back of the chair.
  • Consider carrying a personal alarm


Visit our section on protecting yourself from scams for further information, or read our information guide, 'Avoiding scams: smart ways to protect yourself' (PDF 327KB).

What to do if you're a victim of crime


  • If you think you’ve been burgled when you get home, don’t go inside unless you’re sure the intruder has gone. Call the police emergency 999 number. A text phone is available on 18000.
  • Call the police as soon as you can. You can call 101 to report a crime when you feel safe and don’t need an emergency response. A text phone is available on 18001 101.
  • After the police have gone, make a list of missing items and contact your insurance company. If they ask you for the crime reference number, you should be able to get it from the police the following day.
  • If you’re robbed in the street, try to take the contact details of any witnesses and note down as much detail about the thief as possible.
  • Change your locks if any keys have been taken.
  • Cancel any stolen bank cards – the phone number should be on your bank statement or your bank’s cash point.

Victim Support

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. Visit their website or contact them on 08 08 16 89 111.

Advice line:
08000 223 444

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