Darker Nights - Crime Prevention Advice

Published: 07 November 2019

This time of year historically sees an increase in dwelling burglaries. As the autumn nights draw in, the tell-tale signs of the empty house become more apparent.

As the days get shorter (if you work away from home or even go to get the children from school) by the time you return home it may already be dark. A house in darkness indicates that no one is in and can make you a target, especially if your neighbours houses have lights on or show other signs of being occupied. If you back onto open land or have parking areas or footpaths to the side or rear this may be even more apparent.

Create the “Illusion of Occupancy”, when it’s dark - make it look as if you are in. Leave lights on or put them on timers or daylight sensors to come on when it gets dark. Remember though if you leave lights on in the hall or on the landing to supplement these with lights on in rooms that would usually be occupied at that time of day. A carefully placed “Fake TV” can further add to that illusion of occupancy by making it appear that the television is on. Some burglars may also listen at windows or letterboxes for sign of activity, so consider leaving a radio on within your home.

Don’t forget the outside of your property too, if burglars see that it is lit they are less likely to approach for fear of being seen. With energy efficient bulbs the cost of leaving lights on is much reduced and more environment-friendly.

At the front of your house consider “dusk till dawn” lighting around the porch area if you house is overlooked. Automated lighting at the sides and rear are only advised if the areas are overlooked by your neighbours, If not then consider a manual switch on the inside of your property so that you control when the area is lit. Remember that lights can be an aid to burglars, particularly if they are not going to be seen whilst going about their business.