Don’t let thieves steal your Christmas is the message being promoted by police, as they urge people not to make their homes an easy target for criminals this winter.
Houses stocked full of Christmas goodies and gifts can be particularly tempting for burglars and police are urging the public to follow their security advice to help deter thieves.
Detective Superintendent Bernard Morgan said: “It’s always important to properly secure your home, but even more so at Christmas when burglars know there’s a likelihood of a number of a valuable gifts being easily accessible should they gain access.
“Lock all your doors and windows, and consider leaving a light on when you’re out at night to deter thieves.
“You may want to invest in security devices such as exterior lighting and a burglar alarm, and never leave presents and valuables on display.”
Christmas shoppers have also been reminded not to keep their purchases on display in their car and to be vigilant when out and about in crowded town centres.
Tim Passmore, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Police said: “Christmas is the time of goodwill which makes it all the most distressing if you are a victim of crime at this time of year.
“So I’d like to urge everyone to heed this simple advice of the Constabulary and keep yourselves and your property safe and secure over the festive season.”
If you need the assistance of Suffolk Police during the festive season, dial 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress, and in a non-emergency, please dial 101.
Top tips for protecting your property;
•Don’t leave presents and valuables on view – it’s a temptation for opportunist thieves.
•Don’t leave keys in locks. This can make a burglar’s job easier. Keep your keys in a safe place that is not on view/ easily accessible near the door.
•Close and lock all windows and doors when you leave the house. A walk-in burglar may try several homes before finding one that is unlocked - you don’t want it to be yours.
•If you’re out during the hours of darkness - take steps to make your home appear occupied. If you’re out for the evening leave a light or two on.
•Enlist the help of neighbours if you are going away. Get them to close curtains, remove post and put the bins out.
•Look out for your neighbour’s property.
•Use exterior lighting. Good outdoor lighting can put off a burglar as they are more likely to be spotted in the act.
•Maintain door and window frames to ensure they are strong and secure. Secure gates with a mortice lock or padlock bolts to prevent them from being slid open.
•Never leave spare keys in a hiding place such as under a doormat, in a flowerpot or inside the letterbox.
•Visible burglar alarms make burglars think twice; get specialist advice and consult your insurance company.
For further information and safety advice, visit www.suffolk.police.uk