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Don’t make Christmas easy for thieves

Police issue festive crime prevention advice

Christmas crime warning poster courtesy of Hertfordshire Constabulary

Hertfordshire police have issued their annual Christmas crime warning with a reminder not to “make a gift of your presents” to would-be thieves.

If wrapped presents can be viewed from outside the house - perhaps stacked under the Christmas tree - you are asking for trouble, according to Hertfordshire Constabulary.

Officers say that criminals are on the prowl at this time of the year knowing that people are storing presents in and around the home. But, police say, nowhere is safe if you ignore the simple rules.
“At this time of year everyone is busy buying gifts and preparing for Christmas. Criminals know that homes are full of gifts and will be on the lookout for opportunities to steal them. Leaving gifts in outbuildings or in cars makes them more accessible to thieves. If you leave anything valuable on view either at home or in the car, you may be presenting a thief with an opportunity.” 
Police have issued the following tips:

  • Make sure you keep all your gifts in a secure place – don’t leave them in the shed or garage, or on view near windows or doors.
  • Don’t leave bags, purses or other valuables on view in your car.
  • Lock up when you leave – make sure all windows and doors are securely locked when you leave the house or go up to bed.
  • Security mark valuables and register them free-of-charge at www.immobilise.com.
  • Security marking and registering your children’s Christmas gifts will help to keep them safe and will help get them returned if they are recovered after being lost or stolen. 
  • When out shopping, push your purse to the bottom of your bag and zip it securely, wallets should not be carried in the back pocket.
  • Consider installing a doorbell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm.
  • Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, and leave the radio or TV on.

For more crime prevention advice visit: www.herts.police.uk/protectyourhome and www.hertscitizensacademy.org.

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