This evening, many people in the UK will watch the final episode of long-running Australian soap Neighbours.
But don’t be sad – being a good neighbour doesn’t have to end here; we can all be one in our own communities.
As holiday session begins in earnest, we’ve compiled some hints and tips on how you can look after and protect your own and your neighbour’s property this summer.
If your neighbours are away:
- Offer to keep an eye on their property as a matter of routine
- Report anything suspicious to police on 101, or 999 if emergency/crime in progress
- To help the property look occupied you might agree to:
- Park a car on their drive
- Put out/take in bins
- Pick up post, push newspapers through letterboxes and leave nothing on doorsteps
- Be an alternative address for parcel deliveries, so they are not left outside
- Open/close blinds and switch lights on/off in a timely fashion if you share a key.
You can protect your home by:
- Installing ‘Smart lighting’ which can be activated remotely via an App
- Using light sensor light bulbs in exterior lights that turn on at dusk and off at dusk.
- If you’ve blinds AND curtains, keeping blinds ‘slanted’ so it’s unclear if anyone’s home
- Fitting restrictors to downstairs windows so they can’t be fully opened from outside
- Using a smart doorbell so you can respond and monitor surveillance cameras remotely
- Not saying you’re going away when cancelling services (e.g. paper or grocery deliveries); just that you don’t need them for a few days and will confirm when you wish to restart.
- Tracking parcel deliveries and arranging for them to be left at a collection point/alternative address when you’re not around.
- Joining your local Neighbourhood Watch – find out more at Neighbourhood Watch Scheme | Avon and Somerset Police
Find other useful advice here: Crime prevention | Neighbourhood Watch Network (ourwatch.org.uk)
If you’d like to contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team, you can do so here: Your area | Avon and Somerset Police
Because after all, next door is only a footstep away.