Don't let burglars take the sparkle out of your Christmas
On the lead up to Christmas, please take some crime prevention advice to help ensure that the only visitor who sneaks around your home is Santa bringing goodies in his sack and not a burglar taking them away!
Most burglaries are through a rear door or rear window. Making your home look occupied, whether you are in or out can help deter the thief. This could be done by using time switches to switch on lights, radios and other appliances when you’re out, or dusk till dawn lights. These are all available from DIY shops.
Most burglaries are during the day and the offender will look to sneak in through doors and windows that are left open. UPVC doors front and rear are the targets of opportunistic burglars, please ensure all windows and doors are closed and multi-point locks on your door are activated with the key in the locked position. If you have an intruder alarm fitted ensure you use it.
Particularly at this time of year thieves look for ‘easy to steal’ goods. A fine example is Christmas presents stored under the Christmas tree or gifts left on display in cars. All presents should be hidden away within the house or in the boot of the car. Just because it is Christmas please don’t keep excessive amounts of cash in the home or on display, only keep what you really need.
Mark your property with an ultraviolet pen. Property which is lost or stolen can be returned to its owner quickly if it is marked with the house number and postcode. Alternatively if you have internet access, you can register your valuables on http://www.immobilise.com. This is a free and accessible website to all.
When discarding the packaging that your presents were in take them to the local waste tip, don’t leave them outside your home in and around the wheelie bin it gives clues to what you got for Christmas and it also enables the burglar to repackage your presents thus adding value to the resalable cost.
If you are going away for Christmas, don't advertise the fact that you’re away on your telephone answering machine or on Social Networking sites such as Facebook. Please ensure that your Children do not do this either.
Also if you are going away, leave a spare set of keys with a trusted neighbour if you can, but don’t ever leave them outside under a plant pot or in a garden shed.
Just imagine how you would feel if you knew that someone else was opening gift that was intended for you this Christmas.
On YouTube there is a good video from West Midlands Police titled Don't let burglars spoil your fun this Christmas. It is only short in length (1.11 mins.), but gives simple crime prevention tips for Christmas to make your home less vulnerable to opportunist criminals over the festive season.