Over 100 people turned up to the first crime prevention open evening run by the St Albans and Harpenden Volunteer Police Cadets last night (Tuesday March 20).

Cadet Leader and Police Sergeant Steve Alison said: “Dozens of tools and personal items were security marked and I’ve already have positive feedback from the crime prevention workshop, which were very popular. The aim was simply to arm residents with simple crime preventative measures they can take to keep their homes more secure.” 

He added: “I’d especially lime to thank Neighbourhood Watch, Trading Standards, the Harpenden Safer Neighbourhood Team for running stalls; the thee private companies for displaying their alarms and locks and to St Albans City and District Council for providing timers and locks for us to distribute.

One of the attendees said: “I thought it was a very well run evening and the young cadets are a credit to you and your team.”

Plans are already being developed to run a similar event in London Colney.

The event was organised following an increase in burglaries in Harpenden and the rest of the St Albans district at Harpenden Public Hall in Southdown Road.

The event included:

  • Free tool engraving and property security marking.
  • Free crime prevention advice and workshop.
  • Limited free supply of security light timers.
  • Meet your local Safer Neighbourhood team officer and officers from Trading Standards.
  • See a display of products that can help you to secure your home and vehicle.
  • Join Neighbourhood Watch and receive emails about crime in your local area.


He said: “Burglars prey on houses with the least security. You can greatly reduce the chance of being burgled. Consider the following:

  • A house alarm monitored and responded to by an alarm company
  • Stronger locks on doors and windows
  • Use of timer switches on lights and radios to give the impression of activity in their house
  • CCTV security cameras
  • Motion-activated video doorbells which store images to a server
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property when you're not there (putting out/collecting bins etc)
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Ensure rear fencing is in good repair
  • Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property, eg trim high hedges
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
  • Store any high value items (eg jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault
  • Sign up to Neighbourhood Watch via OWL (Online Watch Link) which sends you the latest local crime alerts.

The volunteer police cadets, who are aged from 14 to 18, will be running the workshop, doing the engraving and giving out crime prevention advice.

If you are unable to make it, you can pick up crime prevention advice from your local safer neighbourhood officers whilst they are out and about, at advertised police surgeries or you can call 101.  To receive emails from Neighbourhood Watch, sign up to the Online Watch Link (OWL) via www.owl.co.uk 

Herts Cadets marking property
The main event
Herts VPC with residents