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Former Police officer with 31 years’ experience shares security tips for homeowners

Good news for Belgravia: a new security service has launched to keep residents safe across the borough and within their homes. “My Local Bobby” is a new initiative founded by two former Metropolitan police officers, who are on a mission to keep our streets safer.

Tony Nash (Director) and David McKelvey (Director) have been tackling crime in the UK for more than 30 years each. “We work closely with communities to combine a mixture of proven tactics used in local policing and specialist crime investigation,” explains Tony Nash.

My Local Bobby is based on the Police force’s guiding principles, known as the 4Ps: to Prevent, Protect, Pursue and Prepare. Around 65 people make up the subscription-based service, including retired police and special crime investigators. Some are experts in cyber-crime, while others patrol north Belgravia to counter anti-social or rowdy behaviour. Each uniformed ‘bobby’ has a body cam and covers a micro-beat of 250 properties.

Here Tony Nash shares his tips to stay security conscious this summer.

When do most burglaries take place?
The prime time for break-ins is between mid-morning through to 3pm, so be particularly vigilant during these times.

A window of opportunity
It sounds obvious, but don’t leave windows open during the day, when you are at work, or asleep at night. Try to think like a burglar: close windows to prevent access.

Use it, don’t lose it
Many homeowners have installed strong locks in their homes, but for one reason or another, they don’t always use them. “If you have security measures in place – use them. Even if you are popping-out to the supermarket quickly, remember to double-lock your front door,” adds Tony.

Going away this summer?
Ask a neighbour to collect the mail, newspapers or flyers left in your letterbox. It is a clear sign that you are on holiday. Always be aware of your environment.

Don’t forget your keys
“More than 40 sets of keys have been left in doors across Belgravia in the past eight weeks,” adds Tony. People often leave their keys in their front doors when they are rushing from their cars with their shopping. “If burglars spot the keys, they may take them and return later. We hand the keys back to the owners when we spot them,” says Tony.

Less is more: social media
According to research carried out by Together Mutual Insurance: 750,000 people posted that they were at the airport over a 30-day period. When you are on holiday wait until you return home to post photographs on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Make your mark
Property marking is a sensible precaution. It might mean adding serial numbers to household objects, but it is worth the time and effort for added protection.

This is just the start of My Local Bobby. Their aim is to work with local communities to improve people’s quality of life. The team is already in talks with local communities, charities and residents’ associations, to expand the residential service further across the UK.

Find out more about the patrol and investigation service, visit Members of the subscription service have a hotline to their local ‘Bobby” and can track their location on an iPad app.