When we’re not busy installing security systems, we like to share company news, product reviews and the latest industry developments with our customers.

Is your locksmith a cowboy?
Cowboys and locksmiths have become an ever recurring theme in this industry casting a shadow over this heritage trade. Locksmiths have been around as long as the modern lock. Although locks were developed in Ancient Egypt, the modern lock as we know it was first developed in the late 18th century by Robert Barron. In the past, it was a privilege to be apprenticed to a master locksmith and to learn the trade. Even today qualified locksmiths should go through extensive training and be registered with official bodies to receive recognition, wherever in the world they operate. Interestingly though locksmiths are a traditional trade. They train and recognise their own. There are no formal UK locksmith qualifications, but to become recognised by the master locksmiths’ association, you are looking at about three years of training, which is similar to other trade apprenticeships. The first way to spot a cowboy locksmith is to see if they are registered with the MLA – The Master Locksmiths Association. We recommend you don’t ask for proof from your locksmith as they could falsify documents to gain your trust. You should call the Master Locksmith Association or check their list of accredited locksmiths. Accreditations When a person is locked out of their home late at night in freezing weather, asking the locksmith about accreditation is probably the last thing on their mind. When a gas engineer turns up at your house to sort the central heating leak late in the note you will notice his CORGI registration is usually worn around his neck. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking you locksmith where his accreditation lies. Most people know about gas professionals being registered with CORGI but how many know about locksmiths being registered with the MLA or the SSAIB – Security Systems and Alarms Inspections Board? These are the signs that you are in fact dealing with a professional security company. Choosing a company with these accreditations will ensure you pay for the services of a qualified and recognised locksmith. Skills If letting someone back into their home was as simple as drilling out a lock and replacing it, then anyone could become a locksmith in ten minutes. The fact is that being a locksmith requires skill and knowledge that only comes with training and experience. It is the nature of the service that makes determining whether you are letting a cowboy in or not difficult. In most trades, you can ask for examples of work or references, but when it’s an ungodly hour or a critical situation, then that is the last thing on your mind. Locksmiths such as Lockrite Security are both MLA and SSAIB registered and their registration can be found on these association websites. Dishonest Traders Every trade has their rogues, whether you are looking at car servicing or computer repairs. The fact is that we live in a world where rogues step in to take advantage of people in crisis. So how do you spot a rogue locksmith? If the first tool they remove from their bag of tricks is a drill, you should question it. Why? Because locksmiths have a variety of tools that they use in different situations. A good locksmith understands different lock mechanisms, how they work, and how to override them. Like a good doctor, your locksmith should first examine the lock to decide on the best course of action. The whole idea behind resolving a situation where a person is locked out of their home or office is to provide re-entry with the least possible damage. An experienced locksmith should be able to pick a lock without damaging the door and in most cases the lock too. Even when your keys have been irretrievably lost the locksmith should pick the locks to get the door open in order to provide a replacement lock – without damaging your door. It is only in extreme cases, for example, when the lock has been vandalised with superglue or a key has been snapped inside the lock that any of the scary looking tools should come out to play. Spotting The Rogue Traders Over the last decade the locksmith industry (like many others) has had its fair share of bad press. The problem of course is that the rogues are not locksmiths. They are people pretending to be a locksmith. These people operate in a very shady world and for the average person in crisis it can be hard to spot and easy to exploit. What you should remember is that they are inherently dishonest. Rogue locksmiths will do anything to steal the business from a real locksmith and some will go to such lengths to copy / steal other company’s identities. It is now very difficult for the uninformed eye to spot a duplicate advert with an altered phone number or a duplicated website. Rogue traders will in fact use the address of a legitimate locksmith but simply change the contact details making it all look above board. A rogue locksmith is not only out to steal from an unsuspecting customer, they steal from legitimate locksmiths too. Across the UK we have had our fair share of these situations. Perhaps one of the most famous was that of Mark Makowski who was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to repay over £700,000 in fraudulent transactions. This criminal in fact simply continued with his underhand trading even when he was caught and sanctioned repeatedly by trading standards. One of the reasons trading standards struggle to shut these criminals down is because they do not abide by the law in the first place. If they are going to steal from the public and from the trade they are purporting to be a member of, how can you possibly expect them to abide by a trading standards order? This approach however led to Makowski's demise. Once he had been caught several times carrying on with, "business as usual" by trading standards, the police were called in and a specialist fraud team started to unravel his web of lies, theft and deceit. Eventually there was sufficient evidence to arrest and prosecute him. Makowski was charging more than over the odds too. For a job that should have cost no more than £278 he charged over £1000. It soon became clear that what he quoted over the phone evaporated as soon as he had destroyed the customers lock and they needed a new one installed urgently. Bad locksmiths come in different shapes and sizes and some of the worst are the ones that present themselves as your friendly local neighbourhood locksmith. They turn out to be anything but. As one cowboy locksmith disappears from the trade another is sure to pop up so do your homework on companies you shortlist before accepting a quote. Trouble locally Recently a locksmith registered in Farnborough appeared on BBC watchdog for unscrupulous behaviour. They are not SSAIB or MLA registered, which should be the first sign that something is amiss. Professionals in any field seek recognition from an overseeing body. When they do not show that they are members at least of the MLA, you should politely decline their help and find a trusted locksmith. "Matt came out to me just under month ago and changed my locking mechanism to the front door. I was shocked to say the least when he asked for £353 but as I knew no different at the time I paid it. I have since found out online the unit costs £75 and as he was with with me for an hour so I feel £278 Labour is far too much. I have since then been unable to lock the door and Matt was ignoring my calls so had to call another locksmith out who fixed it for me. I asked how much to change the mechanism and he quoted £154. I would not recommend Leo Locksmiths to anyone and would advise you to stay clear. Have also contacted Trading Standards about him."Source It is easy to check If the person you are dealing with is legit by going to the MLA website and searching for a locksmith that is local to you. Their website was setup to help consumers and peace of mind is but a few clicks away. You could also do a search online for the person or company name and look at independent reviews to get an idea of the type of company you are dealing with. Alternatively, you could give us a call on [telephone] and talk to a member of our MLA and SSAIB approved team. You would not ask any stranger on the street to come into your home and change your locks. So, when you are inviting someone to effectively break into your home and be paid for the privilege you want to be sure that you are asking an honest person and not a crook. There is nothing more galling than realising you've given a criminal access to your home voluntarily. One of the best ways to get a reliable locksmith at a time of crisis is to contact your local police office and ask for someone on their list of contacts. Police statements repeatedly recommend checking the credentials of a locksmith through the MLA website. If for any reason you cannot do this check even on your mobile phone the contact the police. Local rogue traders are more likely to be known to them rather than recommended by them. Cost For The Work When calling a locksmith, although they may not be able to provide an exact price until they have seen your lock, they should be able to provide ballpark figure. If the cost exceeds £50 of the original figure you are perfectly within your rights to demand an explanation. When the bill suddenly starts to skyrocket, you should ask some serious questions. The greater cost of having a rogue called to your premises is even higher. How do you know that they haven’t kept duplicate keys to your lock? When they are working on your premises they have access to your home and what other valuables are at risk? Simple steps to ensure you are dealing with a genuine company When choosing a locksmith or security company you should: Check the MLA and SSAIB websites to ensure you are dealing with a certified company Call the non-emergency police information line on 101 and ask the police if they can recommend a legitimate company in your area Do an online search for the individual or company name and read past reviews or look through recent projects Do they hold a DBS/CRB certificate? Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are now called Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. All our staff are DBS checked as we work in schools and the public sector Ask a friend or family member for recommendations
Buyers Guide: Roller Garage Door for the Elderly

The garage door is a feature of any home that we live in, that we always remember. As children, we may remember how we struggled to open the garage door, to sneak in and rifle through dad’s tools or sporting kit. What we got up to may become a forgotten memory, but the garage doors remain with us. The classic up and over doors bring memories of bumped foreheads or out of balance weights that some doors featured as innovative at the time. Some of us even remember the classic double hinged doors that occasionally still turn up on traditionally themed buildings. Roller Garage Door Installations Below are a few examples of roller garage doors that we have installed for customers all over Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. Why Choose a Roller Garage Door? Roller doors however have become a preference for several reasons. Apart from the exceptional contribution to space management, modern roller doors make opening and closing so much easier. Seceuroglide™ is perhaps one of best investments a person can make in Roller Garage doors, especially when considering the needs of the elderly. Mobility Elderly people typically experience regressive mobility difficulties. Getting around is till important to them and gaining access to their garage falls into a vital part of the independence. With a selection from five different remote controls, there is no more bending or back breaking nudging required to get into the garage. Perhaps what makes the Seceuroglide™ products even more exciting is that they can also be controlled from a mobile phone. With Connect+ the proud new owner of one of these doors doesn’t have to keep yet another remote control safe. Security Aside from mobility and access, these doors are police and security approved. These doors are a substantial deterrent to thieves and intruders, who would more readily move on to an easier target. Keeping vulnerable elderly family members safe from intruders is a priority. Those elderly family members that still drive do not have to worry about pulling into the garage so tightly that they nearly take out the opposite wall. Seceuroglide doors provide that extra space to park as close to the entrance as possible. The SeceuroGlide Excel is the only garage door that is Insurance and Police Approved. It has Secured by Design status, which is restricted to companies or products that have been successfully tested to the high standards set by Secured by Design and meet Police Preferred Specification. Extra Warmth While security and mobility concerns are at the forefront of our concerns for elderly relatives, we sometimes forget their need for warmth. In homes where the garage is integral to the house, loss of warmth can easily occur through the interleading hallway to the home. Seceuroglide doors have been efficiently designed to reduce the cost of heating because of the unique insulated design of the slats and curtain. This of course has a knock on effect with helping to insulate the house within which the garage is integrated. Often practical features require sacrifice on the part of cosmetic appearance. With Seceuroglide roller doors this is not the case. With a refined finished look, they in fact add value not only to the appearance of the home, but will add value to the sale price, when the time comes to move on. With alternative manual doors available and different designs to meet the needs of different house styles and sizes, the Seceuroglide door is the perfect option. Havin yours fitted by professional, experienced fitters is of course a given.

Secure Your Home This Summer!

With the mercury finally rising and summer holidays on the horizon, the temptation to leave windows open while you are out increases. Of course, we all love the feel of a gentle breeze blowing through the house on a hot stuffy day, but to would-be home intruders a window lift even slight ajar, is an invitation that some just can’t resist. Leaving your home while you set out for your annual fortnight in the sun can also be a green light to unsavoury characters if you have not taken safety precautions before you leave. We already know that burglaries are on the increase in Surrey. “The police recorded 458,021 more offences in the year ending March 2017 than in the previous year. This 10% rise in the number of recorded crimes in the latest year was largely driven by increases in violence against the person (up 175,060 offences, 18%), theft (up 118,774 offences, 7%) and public order offences (up 78,697 offences, 39%).” Office of National Statistics – Original Source Summer Months See a Dramatic Rise In Surrey Break-Ins If a chancer is planning to break into your home to steal, they will no doubt try to do it any time of year. But, the summer months always see an increase in attempted and successful break-ins as houses are left empty for weeks at a time, and windows and doors are open. To prevent your home from looking like an easy target, the police recommend that you take the usual precautions before you go away on your holidays, these include: Make your home look like someone is living in it Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it goes dark Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries Use the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe Service – they keep your mail for up to 2 months while you’re away. Mail sitting on your doorstep is a sign that you are away Trusted neighbours may be able to help you by collecting your post, opening and closing curtains and they could park their car on your driveway Avoid discussing holiday plans on public social networking sites – burglars can use any information you post on there to their advantage Whilst this is all staunch advice that will help to protect your home, what if you would like to take further precautions, or be able to keep any eye on your home wherever you are in the world? Crime Data from the Office of National Statistics The image below shows the crime data from December 1981 through to March 2017 from the Office of National Statistics. You will see that the amount of criminal offences has risen year on year since 2014. CCTV – The Affordable Alternative To Traditional Home Security CCTV is usually something we only associate with large open areas like town centres or public highways. While they have been positioned in towns and cities for many years, keeping us safe 24 hours a day, you can use this type of technology to keep your home secure too. Advances in security technology and the increased use of smart devices means that you can literally keep an eye on your home regardless of where you are. An article from Radium state that four out of five burglaries go unsolved. The article explains that, “Success rates in burglary inquiries appear to be comparatively low. Across all crimes, the proportion of cases closed without a suspect being identified falls to just under half (49 per cent)” – having a CCTV system that records footage could help the Police bring the burglars to justice. The Agility 3 alarm has cameras fitted to the detectors around your property and any movement is recorded and stored on the Risco Cloud. This means that any security footage is stored online and not on a device in your home that burglars could destroy or take with them. Here at Lockrite we offer CCTV systems that are suitable for use in the home. Using plug and play wireless technology, these systems offer a fast and convenient way to protect your home or property from Burglars. You can monitor your driveway, garden, or anywhere else, on your pc, mobile or tablet, thanks to the supplied free apps for Android and iOs. These systems are affordable and easy to install and allow you to keep an eye on your property and possessions, even if you’re thousands of miles away just by using your smartphone, laptop or computer. CCTV based security systems will be able to notify you if motion is detected in your empty house. They will also record footage for later use, should the worst take place while you are away. The footage captured can be stored on an SD card or be sent straight to you smartphone, device or laptop. Whenever you go on holiday you are leaving your home vulnerable to intruders. Effective security systems are crucial at this time of year. Coming back from your holiday to discover that your home has been broken into can be devastating and leave you not only without your valuables, but also no longer being able to feel safe in your own home. Home Intruders Show No Mercy Susan Ackbourne, a Surrey resident since 1975 came home in June from a family holiday to find that her house had been broken into despite her having believed she had left her home well protected. “We locked all the windows and told our neighbours we were away” said Susan, “but we came home to find that our patio door had not been double locked and an intruder had managed to get through the lock in no time at all. He had taken the kids iPads, my husband’s watch, money and other valuables that we thought would be safe in our own home. What should have a been a holiday of a lifetime was spoilt by coming home to find utter devastation in our home. We have since installed CCTV so we are able to view actual pictures of our house every time we are away from it. I constantly feel nervous anytime I have to leave the house empty, CCTV is helping me with this”. Susan is just one of many homeowners who will suffer at the hands of thieves this summer. Protect your Surrey home today, speak to the experts at Lockrite Security to find out more about CCTV systems for you home. Call us on 01252 543309 to discuss your security requirements before you go on holiday! Useful Resources The Guardian: Police figures show violent crime in England and Wales is up 24% Office of National Statistics: Crime in England and Wales: year ending Mar 2017 Radium: Four in five burglaries go unsolved!

Crime on the increase throughout Surrey

The staff at Lockrite Security have put together a list of local crime reports throughout Surrey. We have seen an increase in crime being reported in the local news and online sources but instead of having to check lots of websites you can keep up to date in one place. Burglaries On The Rise Crime data was provided by the office of national statistics. Find out how much crime is in your area with our Local Crime App, if you think you live in a safe neighbourhood you thought wrong! Surrey Crime Round Up CCTV images released after burglary at a Jewelers in Caterham Surrey Police officers were alerted to a robbery at just after 4am Infinity Jewellers just after 4am on the 9th May 2017. The glass displays were smashed and high value diamond, emerald and gold jewellery were stolen. Police have released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to in connection with the crime, which can be seen below. A Holland and Barrett employee said: “It was actually a bit of a shock walking in [to work] this morning. All I saw was broken glass and police officers. The investigating officer, DC Shirley, said: “We urgently need to speak with this individual as we believe he may be able to help us with our enquiries. A large amount of jewellery was stolen, so if anyone tries to sell you jewellery and you are suspicious of the circumstances then I’d encourage you to call us straight away.” If you have any information please contact Surrey Police on 01483 571 212 and quote the following crime reference number: 45170047800. Read more: Police appeal for information following a burglary in Cobham, Surrey Surrey Police have released CCTV footage of three men as they burgled a house in Elm Grove, Cobham on February 11th 2017. The burglars gained entry to the property between 5.30 and 6pm and a folding bike, a set of car keys and a rubber emergency medical arm band were stolen. Investigating officer, PC Danni Edwards said: “I am urging anybody who witnessed anything suspicious around the time of the break-in to get in touch with us as soon as possible. I am also keen to identify the men in the CCTV images.” Read more: John Terry’s £5 million mansion was burgled in Oxshott, Surrey John Terry (Chelsea FC Captain) and his wife Toni were “very shaken” when they returned from their Skiing holiday in French Alps to find thousands of pounds’ worth of personal items missing. A joint operation between Surrey Police and the Met Police saw the successful arrest of three men on Thursday (9th March 2017) in connection with the burglary. Roy Head who is 28 years old from Walton, Surrey was among those who were charged with conspiracy to commit multiple burglaries in Woking, Staines, Leatherhead and Ashford. It is thought that burglars were enticed to raid the mansion after pictures were posted on the couple’s social media accounts. A source told The Sun: “It is a real possibility that these burglars have seen some of their posts. It’s like a catalogue for would-be thieves, and even played a part when Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris. It’s a horrifying incident for any family to go through, and John and Toni have been very shaken by this.” The men were charged with conspiracy to commit seven residential burglaries throughout Surrey. They targeted John Terry’s mansion in Oxshott overnight on 25th February, they burgled 2 homes in Lower Road, Leatherhead and The Ridge, Woking on the 9th March 2017 and they finished up with breaking in to Conway Drive, Ashford and Worple Road, Staines on the 28th February 2017. The investigating officer, Detective Constable Phil Carter said: “Surrey Police is committed to disrupting criminal activity and those who have a negative impact on the lives of Surrey’s residents.” Read More: Teenager found dead at house in Oxshott, Surrey Police have reported the death of a teenage boy who was found at an address in Stokesheath Road, Oxshott. The teenager was found on the morning of Sunday (May 14) and has been named as Ben Cook, who is thought to have been a pupil at George Abbot School in Guildford. Police say the cause of death is still under investigation Read More: Motorists Beware of M25 “petrol-for-gold” Scam Breaking down will inevitably happen and it can be a nightmare when it does. Occasionally there will be a good Samaritan who will pull over to offer assistance and its these good people that are at risk. This story dubbed the ‘petrol-for-gold-jewellery’ scam was highlighted thanks to footage caught on a dashcam. The footage shows the dashcam owner pull over for a motorist who had broken down on the hard shoulder leaving the M25 before taking the M4 to Heathrow. Police have repeatedly warned motorists of the scam since 2015, but this could be the first time it has been caught on camera. Footage shows a conversation between the unidentified man who asks ‘Chris’ for £50 in exchange for a ring. It was reported that a Farncombe resident was asked to give £120 for petrol after she pulled over to help a man near an A3 slip road from Milford to Godalming in November 2015. Read More: 26-year-old woman was attacked in Blackwater, Surrey A 26-year-old woman was assaulted on Thursday 20th April 2017 between 11pm and 11.25pm as she walked down an alley near Rosemary Lane in Blackwater. The attacker punching her in the face several times before running off, the victim was taken to Frimley Park Hospital and treated for minor injuries following the attack. “Following enquiries, we are now in a position to confirm that the incident is being treated as a sexual assault. The woman is being supported by specialist officers.” A police Spokesman Hampshire Police would like to hear from a driver of a car in Rosemary Lane who may have seen a man and a woman struggling. Police are appealing for witnesses and any information relating to this attack. Call Hampshire Police on 01962 841 534 if you have any information regarding this attack. Read More: Targeted burglary ended in flames racking up £60,000 worth of damage Police were called to a Godstone property by firefighters on Tuesday, 16th May 2017 after a, “loud banging noise and fire” had been reported in the early hours of the morning. It appears this was a targeted burglary as high value climbing equipment and tools were kept at the property. The burglars gained entry to the property between 3.40 and 4.40am where they stole £30,000 of the owners’ belongings before they set fire to the property. The burglary is believed to have left the owners with £60,000 worth of repairs on top of the £30,000 in lost belongings. Detective Constable Colin Snell said: “We believe this property has been targeted deliberately and are appealing to anyone who might have seen anything suspicious in the area. If you’ve been offered these tools for sale, please get in touch with us. Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses and you can call them by dialling 101 from your phone or you can fill out their online form. Alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Please quote crime reference number: 45170050538 Read more:

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