Don't Let Burglars Pocket Your Christmas Presents

It’s not just law abiding citizens who like to do their Christmas shopping at this time of year - burglars do too. Leaving your property in the dark whilst doing late night shopping could encourage thieves to break into your home and tick off items on their own Christmas lists.

Every year Christmas spirit encapsulates the hearts of the nation, but it’s important for people to remember to keep their items from view of a potential thief, whether it’s in their vehicles or in their homes, police officials say.

Crime Prevention Officer, Debbie Oldfield, said: “Consumers who choose to shop after darkness has fallen should think about their home security prior to leaving their property, as a dark, unoccupied home can entice burglars to try their luck.

“Taking simple precautions such as using timer switches to activate lights and radios, ensuring that your house alarm is set and removing valuables from windows and doors, all help deter an opportunist burglar.

“If you are ordering items off the internet make sure you have delivery arrangements in place so parcels are not left on the doorstep or in easy accessible areas.

“Being burgled at any time of year causes misery for the victim, but replacing windows or broken doors, liaising with the insurance companies and buying new Christmas presents, can really add to an often already stressful experience.” 

Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) regularly run community engagement events in the run-up to Christmas and provide crime prevention advice to the public.

Officers also increase patrols in vulnerable areas across Dorset and target prolific offenders.

Ms Oldfield believes working as a community could help reduce burglary. She added: “By working with your neighbours you can make it a safer place to live and you can all look out for suspicious people in the area.

“Consider joining a neighbourhood watch group or start one up of your own if there isn’t one in place.

“If you think someone is acting suspiciously, call the police on 101, or if a crime is in progress, dial the emergency number 999.

“If you are aware of someone handling stolen goods or involved in criminal activity, please call the police. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, an independent charity, for free on 0800 555 111. You will remain anonymous and could be eligible of a reward.”

 

POLICE GUIDANCE

  • Always keep your doors and windows shut and locked where possible, even if you’re in your property
  • Use a light switch timer
  • Keep shopping bags out of view, whether in the car or in the window of your house
  • If you’re going away over the festive season, ask a friend or neighbour to park on your driveway and make sure any post is put through your letter box properly
  • Cancel deliveries of milk newspapers or any other regular delivery items
  • Fit a burglar alarm and make sure it’s set when property is unoccupied
  • Do not leave car, door or window keys on view. Never leave keys within reach of a letterbox or a window.
  • Register valuable property at http://www.immobilise.com/ or keep an inventory including description, serial number and photograph of each item
  • Ask your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme to keep an eye on your home while you are away
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