CCTV Boss Issues Advice As Experts Fear 'Post Covid19 Crime Spike'

CCTV Boss Issues Advice As Experts Fear 'Post Covid19 Crime Spike'

A CCTV expert has issued advice on home security as people get ready to return to work post-lockdown.

Chase Dobbie, who runs iHomeCCTV, fears there could be a crime spike, as homes become empty and those left without jobs amid the pandemic may look to other means of making money.

Chase’s concerns come as Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents' Association, predicted that police should be ready to deal with a "more volatile and agitated society" after lockdown measures are eased.

The police chief warned that economic difficulties can lead to a “rise in crime and disorder”.

Chase, who established Castle-Donington based iHomeCCTV in 2016, said: “It’s been a tough couple of months for everyone, with many businesses struggling, and some people have lost their jobs.

“You often hear that tough times can lead to people turning to crime.
“We have already seen an increase in doorstep scammers approaching vulnerable residents, using distraction techniques and allegedly posing as NHS workers offering tests to gain entry to homes.

“But with lockdown measures easing, there are concerns that crimes, such as burglary, will be on the up, with homes being empty once families return to work and school, and money being tight.

“People may have also been a bit more relaxed in keeping doors and windows locked, as there have been less people out and about. It’s time to get secure.”

Chf Supt Griffiths echoed Chase’s concerns, saying: “There are going to be people out of work, businesses that haven't been able to sustain themselves. The impact on society will start to come through."

He added: "My worry is that there will be societal impacts from what we've gone through over those months. Those consequences could be a more volatile and agitated society. There may be impacts for individual mental health. What will that mean?”

Chase has offered tips to ensure homeowners are prepared to safeguard against intruders.

He said: “Lock your doors, windows and gates and avoid hiding a spare key under a pot or a rock at your front door. It’s the security equivalent of inviting a burglar into your house.

“Believe it or not, burglars can get plenty of clues and motivation from the contents of your bins. Knowing what you own will define whether they stay interested or not, so keep your bins out of sight and if rubbish starts building up, make a run to the tip, now that they are open.

“If you’ve been the victim of burglary already, you’re 12 times more likely to be a repeat victim, so you need to take urgent action to make your home less attractive. Close curtains, hide valuables, avoid letting your mail build up and trim your hedges so there’s less cover for interested burglars.

“A modern multi-camera CCTV system will record footage of any disturbances, as well as sending you live mobile phone alerts of any intruder who reaches the boundaries of your property. When a burglar sees such a clear and visible deterrent, he will generally move on to the next house.”

Crime levels in England and Wales have fallen by more than a quarter during the pandemic, with a 28 per cent decrease in the four weeks to April 12 compared with that period last year.

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