Here is some good advice on staying safe this Christmas:
- Do not leave presents on display in the house or under the Christmas tree as this is an invite to would be burglars – they enjoy window-shopping! Store them away out of sight until the last minute.
- Do not leave curtains or blinds open and consider purchasing light timers, which are fairly inexpensive and widely available from DIY Stores.
- If you go out, remember to switch the Christmas lights off, as they may be a fire hazard.
- If you go away over the festive season, consider asking a neighbour or friend to check your house regularly and leave them a contact telephone number in case of an emergency.
- Make sure your property is secure and check all windows and doors before you leave the house. Even when at home it is advisable to keep your doors locked as you may be upstairs or watching television and a burglar can quickly gain entry.
- After Christmas, dispose of empty packaging and boxes carefully as they are a good advertisement as to the presents you have received.
- Don’t forget to ‘property mark’ any suitable items given to you for Christmas. All you need to do is write on your postcode and house number or name. Alternatively, mark with SmartWater. In the event of them being taken and if found, this information will enable the Police to return the property to you.
Tips for Shoppers and Car Owners:
- Be careful where you park and do not leave valuables on show in your vehicle. Remove satellite navigation systems and rub off any suction marks. Park in a well-lit or secure car park.
- Ensure you lock the car, close windows and activate the alarm, if you have one. Never leave keys in the ignition and the car unattended. It only takes a few minutes for a criminal to steal your vehicle.
- If you purchase lots of presents or other shopping, consider taking them home rather than leaving them in the car. You do not know who may be watching you put items in the boot.
- If you have to leave them in the car, lock them in the boot and move your car to another area.
- Keep your money and valuables safe and ensure that any bag has the opening towards your body.
- Don’t carry too much money with you and the minimum of credit or debit cards.