Keep your legal firearms and ammunition safe

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POLICE in E District are reminding the owners of legally held firearms and ammunition of the need to take steps to help prevent such items being stolen during a burglary.

It is the responsibility of all owners of legally held firearms and ammunition to ensure such items are stored safely.

Owners should secure all their firearms and ammunition in approved gun cabinets that have been manufactured to the correct standard. The cabinet should be secured to the fabric of the building. Considerable thought also needs to be given to the appropriateness of its location. Those with hold bolt-action rifles should store the bolt separately. For added security, rooms where firearms are being stored could also be fitted with alarm sensors.

Keys to gun cabinets should also be kept in a secure place with access limited to authorised persons, without a label, and away from the cabinet. In a number of recent incidents burglars have been able to easily find the keys to a gun cabinet.

There are also some steps all householders can take to help prevent burglaries:

DOORS

If your doors aren’t secure, neither is your house. Make sure your doors are strong enough, fit mortise deadlocks, door chains and viewers and use them.

Never leave keys in the locks, on tabletops or hooks in view of external windows. Never hide spare keys under doormats, flower pots etc - thieves aren’t stupid - hidden keys make life easy for the burglar.

WINDOWS

Whether your window frames are wood, metal or UPVC, there are various locks available, suitable for fitting to all window-type openings. If your window does not already have a keyed lock fitted, then consider having suitable locks fitted, particularly on ground floor windows or upper windows that may be easily accessed from a flat roof.

NB: Before fitting any locks to doors or windows, make sure it does not invalidate any warranties.

SECURITY LIGHTING

Exterior lights are useful in discouraging the attention of criminals, as it raises the potential of them being seen in the vicinity of your home by either yourself or a neighbour. Most forms of security lighting are best controlled by photo-electric cells that switch on as dark approaches and off again as dawn breaks, or PIR motion detection sensor switches, or by timer switches.

ALARMS

Visible intruder alarms will often be a deterrent to a burglar. If you decide to have one fitted, make sure it is installed by a reputable company and meets recognised standards required by the National Security Inspectorate or Security Systems and Alarms Inspectorate Board. Most modern alarms allow for the user to partially set their systems, even when at home. Some insurance companies may provide discounts on insurance premiums following the installation of an alarm.

Anyone who requires further crime prevention advice on this or any other subject should contact their local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.