Crime Prevention

Prevention 101 28th March 2014 
Safety Tips – NZ Police


When a stranger – male or female – comes to your front door, you need to be able to keep yourself safe. If you are alone you can create the impression that someone else is present by shouting out that you will answer the door. Here are some tips from the New Zealand police, using the DOORSTEP method.

  • Don’t open your door without using the DOORSTOP code
  • Observe first. Always check by looking through a window or door viewer
  • Only open you door partly with the security chain connected
  • Refuse entry if in any doubt and telephone the police or a neighbour
  • Switch on outside lights when it’s dark to see who is there
  • Think “suspicious”. Strangers may be thieves trying to gain entry
  • Only open the door after examining identification and satistfying yourself it is genuine
  • Protect your family as well. Make sure children know the DOORSTOP code

Ways people may attempt to gain entry to your house:

  • Asking to use the telephone
  • Asking for a glass of water
  • Asking for donations
  • Conducting a survey
  • Impersonating sales representatives, officials, tradespeople and others

Ways to respond may include:

  • Saying “no”
  • Leaving the person outside and offering to make a telephone call for them
  • Denying entry until telephoning their office to verify that they are legitimate,

You should not compromise your safety by opening the door to strangers or allowing them inside, unless you have established that it is safe to do so.  If you have advertised an item for sale and have arranged for a stranger to view it, a good idea could be having a friend or relative present in your home to support you.



Install reliable security screen doors on main external entrances

Main door should a wide angle peep hole or interview grille and a ‘securi-chain’ safety chain

Door hinges should be mounted so that pins cannot be removed

Fit deadlocks on all external doors

When moving into your home or apartment, install new locks (or have them rekeyed) on entrance doors

Never open your door automatically to anyone who knocks or rings

Never indicate you are alone. Shout out pretending someone else is at home

Never leave notes to indicate your absence

Always take your door key with you, do not hide it

Never put your name and address on your key ring



Fit window locks to all windows

Fit security bolts on ranchsliders

Locks should be of a type that cannot be opened if glass is broken

Blinds and drapes should be closed at night. It should never be apparent to anyone on the street that you are alone

Fit security stays on both sides of you window

Close windows when out even if the windows have security stays



Don’t let unknown people in

Ask for identification from service callers such as tradesmen, delivery people, charities, etc

Call the company they claim to represent and verify their identity if in doubt

If they cannot provide identification, call the Police

Beware of people knocking on the door asking for people who do not live in the street. If you see them knocking on other doors in your street, call the Police

Beware of Con men offering to do work at special rates with up front Deposit. DON’T. Get written quotes and check they are qualified



These make burglars think twice

Padlock on meter boxes

Consider fitting modern alarm system. A survey from a reputable security company, a member of NZSIA, is obligation free and costs nothing

If you install an alarm system, use transfers or stocks to show that it exists

Test your alarm regularly

Provide your neighbour, street coordinator or alarm company with keys to your home and alarm to enable investigation by Police if your home is entered by thieves or vandals



Cut back shrubs and bushes near windows and doors. They are perfect hiding places for intending house breakers

Lock all garage doors and windows at night

Don’t leave keys in hiding places

Ladders and tools, useful for gaining entry, should be locked inside your garage

Padlock outdoor sheds · Be observant of people or vehicles lingering near your residence as suggested in most Neighbourhood Support Programmes

If your residence appears to have been burglarised or you disturb intruders, summon Police assistance. Never enter the premises alone

Consider growing a thorny hedge/roses on boundary fences

A gate at the entrance to your driveway will stop unwelcome vehicles entering

Advertise with signs/stickers Neighbourhood Support/alarms/dogs

Padlock your letterbox



There are measures that can take for peace of mind that will reduce the risk of a home being burgled while you’re on holiday.  These include:


  • If you are going away complete this form and give to your neighbours/coordinator.
  • Letters, newspapers or junk mail cluttering the letterbox. Have a friend or neighbour clear your letterbox
  • Long grass – if you are away for a long time, organise for someone to mow the lawns
  • An unanswered phone can tell someone within hearing distance that no one is home. Turn down the ring volume of your phone so it cannot be heard from outside
  • If you have an answerphone, don’t leave a message on it advising you are going to be away
  • Ask a neighbour to park a car in your driveway from time to time – this creates the impression someone is at home
  • Setting a timer switch for a radio or lights to come on indicates someone is present
  • Leaving curtains closed can indicate no one is home


Whether you are going away on holiday or just for an hour, the following security measures are recommended:



Leave an inside light and the radio on if you are returning home after dark

Never have your first name on the letterbox or doorbell. Use your initials

Do not list your name as “Miss” or “Mrs” etc in the phone book or on the letterbox

If a husband travels extensively, consider installing an intercom systems at the front and rear doors to monitor callers. Consider carrying a personal “panic button” alarm

Persons alone should never open the door unless they know who is on the other side

Children should be taught not to open the door to strangers and if by themselves they should not indicate they are alone. Same applies with telephone calls



Valuable jewellery should be photographed, preferably in colour

Mark your valuables for easy identification by the Police

List all valuables by make, model and serial number

Do not leave your jewellery in a jewellery box on your dressing table

Do not leave money or valuables in drawers. If you must keep these in the home, consider installing a reliable safe

Never publicly discuss the contents of your home or your family plans



Keep a list of general and emergency numbers by the telephone. If dialling “111” state the emergency service you require and give your name and location clearly

Do not identify yourself when answering the telephone unless you are positive of the identity of the caller. Don’t give out unnecessary information over the telephone

When using the telephone, never let the caller know you are home alone

Nuisance / obscene calls phone 123. All phone calls are traceable. If so refer to Telecom web site or look here for some advice for assistance in handling of these calls and what you should do.



If advertising in a newspaper to sell, have someone with you when buyer calls. Don’t let on when you won’t be home

If working/relaxing in the back garden don’t leave front of house unlocked

If you surprise a burglar – get out of the doorway or exit. You and your family’s safety is worth more than your possessions

Neighbourhood Support © 2013