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Son of Trevor Francis accused of cottage burglary

James Francis, the son of football legend Trevor Francis, is currently standing trial. He is accused of burgling a cottage that forms part of a mansion, worth £1.6 million and owned by a former Aston Villa footballer. The incident is alleged to have taken place back in 2011.

James Francis denies the charges, stating that his fingerprints were only found at the scene of the crime because he had left them there when he visited in a work capacity. He stands accused of stealing a number of souvenir football shirts and designer women’s shoes.

Standing at Warwick Crown Court, Francis told the jury that he had previously paid a visit to the property in order to compile a quote for cleaning the home.

The prosecution, however, alleges that Francis broke in to the cottage while he knew the owners were away on holiday in 2011, between July 18th and August 3rd.

The court was told that the accused’s fingerprints were found on the unoccupied cottage’s door and were also discovered on a piece of cardboard at the property.

James Francis says that there is a perfectly innocent reason for his fingerprints being in the property. His parents once lived in one of the cottages on the property, so he was aware he needed to inspect the interior when making a quote for cleaning services.

The trial continues but it shows just how important it is for large properties to install quality security measures, such as lockable security gates, security window bars, lattice gates and lockable roller garage doors if they are to be protected from burglary.

Brown Security Installations has a wealth of experience in home security.  Contact us today if you are worried about your home and want to make it secure.


New head of Harrow’s Police force ready to tackle burglary head on

The new head of Harrow’s police force has said he is ready to face the borough’s burglary problem head on.

Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens is now Harrow Police’s borough commander after his appointment last week. He is taking the reins from Chief Superintendent Dal Babu, who retired last month.

Ovens explained the tough challenges ahead of him, saying:

“I am delighted to be here. I have always thought my natural habitat is policing a borough and it’s exciting to be in a part of London I haven’t worked in before.

“Harrow is a quiet borough but there are problems with burglary, robbery and anti-social behaviour and my main focus will be to lock up those who commit crime.”

Ovens, 46, went on to state his intention to push for more proactivity from his officers – ensuring patrol time is spent effectively.

Among the first items to be addressed will be the future of Pinner police station’s front counter. The counter is run solely by volunteers and the London Mayor’s Crime and Policing Plan had suggested it will close.

However, in a statement that will please the local community, Ovens said:

“Pinner will still be a police station and the front counter will remain open for as long as volunteers are happy to do it.”

People in Harrow are fully aware of the area’s less-than-impressive crime rates and many choose to boost their home security efforts with the help of security bar gates, security bars for windows and roller garage doors.

Useful links:

Brown Security Installations:

Brown Security Installations has over 25 years worth of experience in installing security bar gates, window bars and roller garage doors.  We cover Harrow and all surrounding areas



Cheltenham residents told to tighten up home security

The recent warm weather has been a blessing to residents in Cheltenham, however, it has also been an opportunity for burglars in the area, who have been taking advantage of lax summer security by entering homes through unlocked doors and windows.

Three homes have been burgled in the recent warm spell, due to homes being left unsecured.  This has prompted Cheltenham Police to warn residents about tightening up their security.

On Thursday 6th June, one home was burgled in Margaret Road at 3.30am, with a gold ring and wallet being stolen from the property.   It is alleged that the burglar entered via the front door which had been left unlocked.

And on Wednesday 5th June at around 11.00 pm, another burglar broke into a property in Farm Close, stealing a leather handbag from the owner’s kitchen.

Also, a home in Hatherly was entered via the front door and keys and money were taken without the occupants being aware of the theft.

Police fear that more burglaries could take place while the weather is good. They have advised local residents to ensure their homes are secured by locking doors and ensuring that regular security measures are undertaken about and not “forgotten” in the good weather.

Simple security measures like ensuring roller garage doors are down and locked, installing lockable security bar gates and burglar alarms are  great ways to avoid thefts. Encouraging neighbours to look out for suspicious activity is also advisable.

Useful links:

Neighbourhood watch:

Brown Security Installations:

Brown Security Installations has over 25 years of experience in making homes secure.  We cover Cheltenham and surrounding areas.

Burglars from Sheffield break into a house and steal family car

Two burglars from Sheffield  have been jailed for breaking into a house and stealing the car parked outside.

Shaun Robinson, aged 30, of Roscoe Drive, Stannington, was jailed for 32 months, while his accomplice, 24-year-old  Neville Clarke, of Essex Road, Norfolk Park, has sentenced to 22 months behind bars.

The pair targeted a house in Holmesfield, Derbyshire, where they smashed a window  to break in.  Once inside, they stole a television, an Apple iPad, tablet and a set of keys to a car parked on the driveway.

Anyone with information about burglaries is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Brown Security recommends taking extra precautions by always ensuring your car keys are out of sight and considering a garage with roller garage doors if you have space.  Additionally, window bars and bar gates are a useful deterrent.

Swansea police appeal for information after morning burglary

Police in Swansea are asking for information after a sizeable gold jewellery collection was taken in a morning burglary on Friday 26th April.

It is thought that a number of the pieces taken had origins abroad and, as well as being rare and expensive, had a significant sentimental value to the owner.

Among the pieces taken was a recognisable elephant pendant on a chain of gold and a matching set of earrings. There was also a gold heart pendant, a Greek charm bracelet and a butterfly pendant.

Police are encouraging anyone who may have information, particularly those in the St Helens area of the city where the incident happened, to get in contact. Officers are also asking those in the jewellery and gold trades to look out for the distinctive items.

Paul Howles, Detective Constable of Swansea Central CID, spoke about the incident:

“A substantial amount of jewellery was stolen, many of the items stolen were purchased abroad and will very almost impossible to replace. This burglary has happened in broad day light on a busy street, where there are a large amount [sic] of private dwellings.

“I am appealing to the neighbours or anyone else who was in the vicinity at the relevant time and saw any suspicious persons or vehicles to come forward.”

Police in the area have, in the past, encouraged homeowners to ensure their properties are secure. Many choose to do this with the help of equipment such as lockable security gates and roller garage doors

It only takes a minute to keep on top of home security

The clocks going forward on the 31st March often leads to an increase in sneak-in burglaries in particular, throughout the Spring and Summer months. The peak is usually in June.

West Yorkshire Police are continuing with their  ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ campaign, which will run from week commencing 25th March to the end of September, to encourage everyone to think about their home security and ‘lock up or lose out!’.

The campaign is titled ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ as it only takes a minute to lock your doors and windows but it is also the same amount of time that it could take a burglar to enter your house and steal your belongings.

The key messages of the campaign are:

  • It only takes a minute to lock your doors and windows to secure your home.
  • It only takes a minute to hide valuables out of view.
  • It only takes a minute for a burglar to enter your property and steal valuable belongings if your doors or windows are unlocked.
  • You should keep doors and windows locked, even when you are in the house and when you get home. Try to change your habit if you don’t lock your door behind you.
  • Door chimes and burglar alarms will deter a burglar from entering your property.
  • Always remember to switch on your burglar alarm if you have one.

Being a victim of sneak-in burglary can have both emotional and financial effects. High value goods are costly to replace if stolen, and items such as phones and cameras often hold information with sentimental value such as photos, which cannot be replaced.

  • Many insurance companies will not pay out if your home has been burgled while insecure.
  • Keep doors and windows locked when in the garden having BBQs, gardening, hanging out the washing, etc.
  • Don’t leave garden tools or furniture outside, as they can be used by burglars to enter your property.
  • Dispose of packaging for expensive items properly; don’t advertise what is in your house.

Register your property on so that if it is stolen and recovered by the Police it can then be returned to you.
Download free tracking software onto mobile phones and laptops.

For more information about home security call 101 and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer.

Brown Security Installations would also recommend the following security measures:

  • Bar gates – can be used as extra security over your front door or also between the alley-ways of terraced houses
  • Window bars – mostly used for work premises and vulnerable and isolated windows
  • Retractable gates – sometimes known as lattice gates, which can be used in the home or workplace
  • Roller garage doors – to keep your vehicle and garage contents secure
  • Security mesh for windows – can be used in the workplace or also in the home to avoid windows being smashed

Courtesy of West Yorkshire Police

Brown Security Installations – How to avoid becoming a victim of burglary

Lincolnshire Police recommend the following steps to avoid becoming a victim of burglary:

When you go out, always close and lock the external doors and windows, even if you are just going out for a short while.

Remove all valuables from out of sight. Remember if they can’t see it, they can’t take it! Keep them safe.

Keep spare keys safe and out of sight. Would-be offenders could not only break into your property but could also steal your car!

Visible burglar alarms, good lighting and carefully directed security lighting can put a burglar off.  Remember, less darks spots means less hiding places for someone not wishing to be seen!

Never leave garages or sheds unlocked. Your tools inside could prove to be very useful to a would-be offender who wants to gain access to your property.

Ensure that your garden is just as secure as your home itself. Do not leave anything of value such as bikes; children’s play equipment or gardening tools on full view. Make sure that they are locked away and out of sight when not in use.

If you are going away on holiday, remember to cancel milk deliveries etc. Ask a responsible neighbour to make sure that any post that is delivered is pushed right through the letterbox. Ensure that all windows and doors are locked. Use timer switches for lights and radios, as they will create the impression that someone is in.

Any plants, trees or bushes need to be well maintained if they are at the front of your property. This is so that they provide natural surveillance for you as the homeowner and to also ensure that would be offenders cannot use overgrown trees etc as climbing aids or hiding places.

Always keep gates locked when not in use. Easy access to a property is often the trigger that makes a property an attractive target. Don’t make it easy for them!

An intruder alarm installed and used properly can deter the burglar. Seek expert advice when installing an alarm and ensure that they are members of the Security Systems Inspectorate Body (UK AS- United Kingdom Accreditation Service) as they fit British Standards (BS 4737) (EN 50131).

Property marking is an effective way of deterring thieves. By marking things such as electrical goods with your postcode and house number, this reduces the opportunity for thieves to sell the goods on. Property marking also increases the chances of returning your goods, if you happen to become a burglary victim.

Brown Security Installations would also recommend ensuring that as well as electronic security devices, you also consider physical security such as window bars, retractable gates, bar gates and roller garage doors.  These can all be installed to blend in naturally with your home surroundings to provide an additional layer of security


Preventing burglary with roller shutters supplied by Brown Security Installations

Owners of a family owned pet shop in Ilkeston are reeling after a recent burglary which saw thousands of pounds worth of stock taken.

The thieves forced their way into the shop and warehouse belinging to Chambers Pet Supplies.  They took a number of items including tills, laptops, healthcare and grooming products, pet food, accessories and expensive reptile and aquatic equipment.  Sadly, the theives also took items from the staff room fridge Gavin Chambers said:

“It’s heartbreaking when you have a family business and you’re really trying. It’s not as if we’re a big corporate that can absorb something like this. We thought it was like Fort Knox but obviously not! They had a field day. It’s unbelievable.”

Police in the area have advised residents to tighten up their home security efforts.  This can easily be achieved with the installation of residential roller shutters, bar gates, window bars and roller garage doors.

Contact Brown Security Installations for a no obligation free of charge quotation