Despite being a stunningly beautiful place offering a climate and lifestyle that is the dream of many, the Caribbean has seen an increase in crime over recent years.
Just recently, the Acting Commissioner of Police in Barbados announced that crime on the island had seen a 14% increase during the first three months of 2015 that included theft and burglaries.
There are a number of ways that you can deter intruders from entering your property, many of whom are nothing more than opportunistic criminals. We’ve set out below some tips to help you take away the opportunity from these individuals.
- Keep entrances to your property well lit and as clear as possible from trees and shrubbery to reduce ‘safe spots’ where burglars can gain access without being seen by neighbours.
- Ensure that all main doors are solid and reinforced, with a deadlock that will make it harder for criminals to gain entry to your property.
- Secure windows and doors with burglar bars and place items of furniture and even plants below them. Landing on a piece of furniture or in a plant doesn’t make for an easy and pleasant entrance to your property.
- Fit locks on all internal doors so that if a burglar should gain entry they may only be able to steal items from one room as opposed to the entire property.
- Where doors and windows are left open for cooling your property, always make sure that the bars to these are kept locked.
- Make use of automatic timers for switching lights on and off in your property at different times, as this creates an illusion that there is someone at home. Use motion-sensor lights at entrances, as these can also be a great deterrent to burglars.
- Instal a security alarm system with CCTV. There are systems that even allow you to be able to monitor your property in the Caribbean from abroad, which is great if it is being used as a second or holiday home.
- Garage doors should also be fitted with solid locks and where the garage leads to the laundry room or kitchen keep that door locked when you’re not in either of these rooms.
- Take out a good household contents insurance policy for which premiums may be discounted for having good security in place.
- Should you be unfortunate enough to be the victim of a burglary while you are in your property, try to get to a room that you can lock and call for help. This can be from your cell phone or a personal alarm that emits a very loud sound. Your personal safety is far more important than possessions.
We will never be able to prevent burglaries, but we can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing this intrusive crime by taking precautions that make a burglar think twice about battling to get into your well secured home.
Article by Maureen Smith, Caribbean Property Consultant, Tropical Connections