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Follow the 9pm Routine to stay safe from crime at home

On The Beat column, by King's Lynn police commander Dave Buckley

When I sat down to write this month’s column, I had been looking at some of the crime figures for the month of January and February so I decided to look at some of the crimes to see if I could see a pattern emerging.

What struck me, was the fact some of the crimes might have been avoided. If some simple steps had been taken the crimes may have been avoided or, if not avoided, made very difficult for the opportunist thief.

On The Beat column, by Dave Buckley
On The Beat column, by Dave Buckley

What struck me when going through the crimes was the number of thefts from properties i.e. vehicles and outbuildings that had occurred with no forced entry.

Basically, the owner had forgotten to lock the vehicle or outbuilding up before going out or going to bed. I am by no means blaming these victims of crime as we all lead busy lives and, in our haste, to get things done, we sometimes forgot the basics, after all we are all human and make mistakes.

Unfortunately, our mistakes sometimes cost us money to repair damage caused or replace items stolen, but it is not just monetary cost there is also the time it takes to sort these thefts out.

So, what can you as a home or vehicle owner do to try and prevent you becoming a victim of crime and being one of the statistics I look at each month.

One solution is to adopt the 9pm Routine as part of your daily ritual and it is so simple anybody can do it.

The 9pm Routine states you set an alarm for 9pm as a reminder that when it goes off you go around your property and check all windows are locked and secure, all doors are locked and secure, all outbuildings or sheds are locked and secure, and finally your vehicles are locked and secured, and the keys hung up away from the front door.

Research has shown that this simple routine can help reduce the amount of thefts from unlocked cars by up to 25 per cent on average.

This is 25 per cent less victims of crime, 25 per cent less people having the inconvenience of replacing the items stolen.

So why not adopt the 9pm Routine from today? You never know it could help prevent you from ever becoming a victim of crime.

Whilst the 9pm Routine is good for securing your property overnight you can still adopt a version of it when you go out as opportunist thieves will operate night and day, so please don’t make it easier for them.

Talking about making it easy for a theft, one of my officers reported to me the other day that he had stopped at a local shop on the way to work one morning and when he was returning to his car he walked past a builder’s van which had the drivers side window open, door unlocked and keys in the ignition and no one in the van.

Thankfully my officer stayed with the van until the owner returned and passed on words of advice about better security.

I dread to thing the amount of inconvenience it would have caused that builder if his van had been stolen just because he didn’t think to remove the keys and lock the van up.

Remember the simple things work.

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