AS THE number of burglaries and thefts traditionally rise over the festive season, it’s important that you don’t get complacent or lax with your home security.
Opportunist thieves could be trying to get their hands on the expensive Christmas presents you have tucked away or target your home when you are out at the office party. Homeowners need to be vigilant. Don’t let a thief spoil your Christmas.
Tips to keep your home safe:
• Keep gifts, cash & valuables safe and well hidden so they can’t be seen or reached by thieves
• Lock doors and windows before you go out, removing keys from locks and keep them out of reach
• Leave a light on in a room and draw curtains when you go out at night
• Consider marking your valuable household items with a forensic property marking kit such as SelectaDNA (http://www.selectadna.co.uk). If the worst happens and marked items are stolen from your home, they can be traced back to you and returned by police.
• Make sure callers to your home are genuine, always ask for ID
• Cancel newspapers, milk etc if you go away over the festive period
• Make sure your garden shed is well secured. Police have reported a rise in thefts from sheds and garages. Bikes stored in garages or sheds can be registered to BikeRegister, the National Cycle Database (http://www.bikeregister.com) to deter theft in the first instance, and aid recovery if a bike is stolen and found by police.
The following tips have been compiled for Christmas shoppers to help prevent them becoming victims of crime too. Criminals will often take advantage of crowded streets filled with people looking for festive bargains. This can result in opportunist thefts and pick-pocketing.
Tips for safer shopping:
- Never leave your bag open or unattended, such as on the back of a shopping trolley or pushchair
- Always make sure your bag is securely shut by using the fasteners provided
- If your bag has a strap, wear it across your body with any flaps facing inwards
- Make sure any valuables such as mobile phones, iPads or electronic tablets are forensically marked
- Never put your bag on the floor to look at something on shop shelves
- If you do not have a bag, hold your purse or wallet close to your body or carry it in an inside pocket
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
- Only keep items in your bag that are needed
- Keep your cash and credit cards separately
- If you return to your car with your purchases whilst you are continuing shopping, lock away your bags safely in the boot.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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