Virtual house shows weakspots targeted by criminals

8:17am Friday 13th December 2013

A VIRTUAL house has been created by the police to show people where their homes may be vulnerable to burglars.

Citadel House is an online crime prevention house that people can visit to learn about everything from when to use light timer switches to what sort of plants act as a deterrent for burglars.

It has been created by detective sergeant Ed Slough for West Mercia Police as part of Operation Citadel – an on-going initiative to reduce burglary.

“We wanted to find a way to bring crime prevention to the attention of those people who are perhaps more familiar with using their computer or their iPad,” he said. 

“This way we hope to reach a wider audience.

“Crime prevention is an important message, and it will hopefully make people identify with their own homes and make them think how they could put security in place to make them more secure against burglary.”

Visitors to Citadel House are invited to take a tour through each room, clicking on the information symbols.

Each information point opens a dialogue box containing crime prevention advice linked to that room or the things within the room, such as the television, computer and a jewellery box.

The links also provide guidance on where to go for more advice, and include information about immobilse.com – a national property register.

Police are encouraging people to register their belongings on the Immobilise website, so if they are burgled and their belongings do get recovered, they have a better chance of getting them returned.

It can also help to lead to a conviction if the stolen property is found with someone.

DS Slough said: “Although crime prevention is a serious message we are trying to get across to people, Citadel House is also quite a fun place to visit.

"As time goes on we may look at adding new sections and additional guidance advice, if a new problem is identified, or if new advice is developed.”

To visit Citadel House go to westmercia.police.uk/advicecentre/home-and-garden-security.html.

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