What would you do?

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,209
edited 16. Oct 2015, 04:41 in Community Chit-chat archive
We arrive back from the High St and I hear someone calling from the old people's bungalows over (and below) our garden wall. I can see no-one but I go over and finally find a head. Attached to a body.

She is alerting me to the fact that the three scruffy youths, whom we saw heading down the ginnel between our house and our next door neighbour's, had actually been walking round the outside of our house and looking inside.

She thinks they may have been looking for the drug dealer in the end old people's bungalow. She alerted the police to the dealer a while back but they just told her to 'keep a dossier'. She told them that was their job.

A faint bell sounded. About a year ago another neighbour, who lives opposite the fronts of the bungalows, told of the pensioner drug dealer and how police had been notified and did nothing.

A week ago, yet another neighbour found a used syringe in our ginnel. He handed it to neighbour no.4 who is the Neighborhood Watch Co-ordinator. She said she would notify the police.

We will soon be going away for a month. Our immediate neighbours all work during the day.

What would you do?


  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would tell the police exactly what you've said here, including the part where you are going away for a month.

    If I could afford it, I would install a security camera outside my home in a place where it may catch an image of someone snooping around.

    Is there any way you could find a house sitter to stay during your trip?

    Good luck, sticky, I can empathize with you as I live in a fairly remote area and have similar problems with our house being a target. The neighbor's property used to have a gang of people with bad habits, etc. "living" there. Thankfully, our friend bought the place and it's all closed off now but we still have people lurking around sometimes. They're looking for something to steal, I guess. Last year during a bad storm, every property around us was broken into except ours. The police arrived to talk and told me this. I guess we didn't look like we had anything worth stealing and we actually don't. I would hate to be broken into though and I would certainly hire a house-sitter if I were going to be away for more than a day.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Write it all down, go to PC Plod House and ask them.Also contact the NW person again. Have you made any arrangements for post etc to be picked up and if so could that person look out for any evidence of potential problems?
    It's a worry you could do without especially as you're going to be far away for an extended period, so I hope your concerns are taken seriously.Police forces are always saying how much they need the public to support their work by reporting problems so it's unfortunate when their apparent inaction gives the opposite impression.
    As a matter of interest are these old people's bungalows all independent private dwellings or are they some sort of social/managed housing, in which case can the body in charge do anything to address the drug dealer aspect? Such activities are usually regarded as serious contraventions of tenancy/occupancy agreements.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is a dilemma for you as naturally you want to relax whilst you are away.

    I echo everything that Boomer13 has suggested, and think the house sitter option may be what I'd do if I were in your position.

    Hope you get something sorted out so you can go away with peace of mind.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I concur with everything that everyone else has said. At least the neighbour had spotted the youths - would it be worth letting her know you're going to be away so she could 'step up' her vigilance? The thought of people creeping round the outside of one's property is far from a pleasant one. I am sorry. ((( ))) DD
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Its such a worry especially with the police cuts we have to put up with...hopefully like someone said the neighbours will be on there guard..I would certainly make it look like the property was occupied ...the TV box ..that flashes like the TV is on..timers on lights..my neighbour has a dog barking box..Hope all is well and you can enjoy your time away with out having to worry..
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hmm, a real worry for you Sticky, as you'll be away for some time. I can only agree with what others have suggested, especially the lights on a timer. Have you a good neighbour who could open/shut curtains/blinds for you? We had to put a high fence with a lockable gate part way down our drive to stop anyone wandering from the front of the house to the back, but you wouldn't be able to do that with a ginnel.

    Is there someone who could put dustbins out/in to make the house look occupied?

    Hope you can find a solution.
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 750
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would agree with all that's been said, Sticky. We were burgled in 2010 when we were on holiday and since then, if we're away, we leave a key with a neighbour, who pops round every day and makes sure that everything is still secure. She also puts the bins out for us. We didn't have a burglar alarm when we were burgled, but do now, as well as double locks on the downstairs windows. The police put those on for us, free of charge. We also have our post-code in ultra-violet marking on various expensive objects in the house, as well as a sticker on the windows to tell potential burglars that we've done this. Stable-door and horse come to mind!

    I also phone the police and tell them that we've been burgled in the past and that we will be away. As far as I know, it just means that if there is any suspicious behaviour in the area, they know that the house is empty, but it makes me feel better.

    I hope you can get something sorted to give you peace of mind.

  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It is always such a worry when going away. As most burglars are opportunists the best thing is to get trusted neighbours to keep an eye and make the house look occupied on your behalf. When we go away we get a neighbour to park on our drive as parking spaces are in demand in our road and it makes it look like someone is home.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,178
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Gosh what a worry Stickywicket!

    When I read your post I thought - she can't go on holiday, but after reading all the great suggestions from everyone I think you can with a lot of precautions taken.

    I don't know whether anyone suggested this, but some people have artificial alarm boxes and cameras fitted to the outside of the house. Just enough for potential burglars to choose an easier option than yours.


    Toni xxx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,209
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your input and some great suggestions. It's a bit late in the day to organise a 'house-sitter' for a month. We already have a security light and an alarm and leave the lights on timers whenever we go away. And a neighbour comes to empty our outdoor letterbox. We'll tell other neighbours who regularly use the ginnel and have ordered an extra security light.

    I rang the local police and a lovely young lass said they'd get their community officers to keep an eye on the place while we're away and, if any neighbours see anyone poking around, we should tell them to ring 999 immediately, not the non-emergency number.

    Which reminds me – I must contact them again to let them know a friend will, at some point, be picking up his sports car which is in our drive while he is away. Don't want him getting arrested for it :lol:

    Oh and daffy – they are council bungalows :roll:
  • Cate
    Cate Member Posts: 280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, I have an enclosed front porch, but with two glass side panels, so parcels and mail are easily visible.

    Like you, my neighbour was supposed to collect them as soon as they arrived, whenever I was away. One time arriving home a day earlier than expected, I found three days mail and a parcel easily visible. Since then I have used the Royal Mail Keepsafe Scheme. They stop and re-start delivery on the dates you give them. There is a fee, but from memory it wasn't much.

    You may have a more reliable neighbour than me, but even they can often leave them until later in the day to pick up.

    Isn't it sad that holidays are so tinged with fear nowadays?.....Cate.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,209
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wow! That does sound dangerous. Luckily ours is just a letterbox. I make sure no parcels will come whenever we go away and our neighbours are utterly reliable. (They are the Neighbourhood Watch people..) But I'll mention this to a friend who has a similar type of porch.
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We have put up dummy alarm boxes, they look the part and you can get them from B & Q I think, they do make burglars and snoops think twice. You can get these camera's that you can watch on your pads and laptops now so you can alert the police or a neighbour to inform the police of what you have caught on camera. But having a house sitter is a fool proof idea. Hope you get something sorted so your not worrying while away.

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