Letter box fishing
Letterbox Fishing – never heard of it – well the Police have as have a growing number of people who have been the victims of this criminal practice so what is it – to quote from “the Crime Prevention Web site”
“The term ‘fishing’ describes the action of putting a rod and hook or arm and stick through the letter plate in order to steal something in reach. This technique normally leads to the theft of the house and car keys left on a hall table. With the keys they will let themselves into the house and steal from it or steal the car or do both. It is of interest to note that this problem only started to occur in any great numbers after the security of motor vehicles improved. With immobilisers being fitted as standard and with many people installing vehicle tracking devices to their cars, a car thief was forced to steal the keys (another example of the ‘arms race’). In fact, the term ‘fishing’ has only come into crime language in the last ten years or so to describe this method of theft. “read more at –http://thecrimepreventionwebsite.com/security-door-locks-hardware-and-fittings/565/letter-plates-letter-boxes-and-mail-delivery/
So what can be done about this “fishing” – the term “Secured by Design” is randomly flashed over numerous web sites and when you purchase a door of this standard – as all Timber Composite Doors are you are assured that your door is as secure as it can be in meeting current standards, the letter plates currently used comply with current standards, which generally means that they are fitted with a spring loaded inner plate to minimise the opportunity of passing “rods” through the aperture. As front doors generally open on too hallways there are some risks that are difficult to eradicate.
However SBD themselves in their 2014 New Homes Guide are suggesting far greater security standards be adopted when they recommend a “secure external letter box or delivery ‘through the wall’ into a secure area of the dwelling.” As highlighted in clause 21.16 of this document which reads-
“Secure Mail Delivery
21.16 There are increasing crime problems associated with letter plate apertures, such as arson, hate crime, lock manipulation and ‘fishing’ for personal items (which may include vehicle and house keys, credit cards, etc). In order to address such problems SBD strongly recommends, where possible, mail delivery via a secure external letter box or delivery ‘through the wall’ into a secure area of the dwelling.”
They further expand upon these specification points in their definition of “Surface Mounted Letter Boxes” where clause 21.19.1 states –
21.19.1 Where a single surface mounted letter box is to be used for each dwelling it must be robust in construction and securely fixed to the external face of the building in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. It must be located in a position that benefits from natural surveillance. The letter box must incorporate a design feature that prevents the removal of mail through the delivery slot and the access door for mail collection must be lockable. Letter boxes certificated to the Door & Hardware Federation Technical Specification 009 (TS 009) offer reassurance that all of the above attributes have been met.”
The full 2014 New Homes Guide can be found at http://www.securedbydesign.com/pdfs/SBDNewHomes2014.pdf but be aware it is a long and complex read
The changes if “House builders “decide to take them up could be radical in as much as a letter plate would no longer be required in your front door thereby removing a potential source of draft – but a space in a wall would also require to be sourced to accommodate a surface mounted letterbox
The Secured by Design New Homes Guide recommends that letter plates comply with the Door and Hardware Federation Technical Specification 009 (TS 009) providing the safest means by which mail can be delivered if you want to read further http://www.dhfonline.org.uk/docs/1052-TS-009-letterboxes.pdf contains all the necessary information.
All Global Composite Door purchasers’ can be assured that no matter what legislation changes may arise from the2014 New Homes Guide we shall comply in full with such requirements.
Image from Gazette live: an in depth article is available to read here