December Crime Prevention Blog by Crime Prevention Officer Gerry McBride

Gerry’s 12 tips for Cracking Christmas Crime

1 It may be the season of goodwill, but don’t forget that thieves never take a holiday!

Here, I’m offering my top twelve tips for the twelve days of Christmas, to keep yourself – and your property safe.

1. Don’t leave presents on display under the Christmas tree in view of the window. And, if you’re going away, don’t advertise this on social media!
2. Lock all doors and windows when you go out. Pay particular attention to the rear of your home.
3. Don’t put keys under the doormat or in a flowerpot, thieves know all of these hiding places
4. Don’t leave windows open a few inches for the cat to get in or out, burglars find this useful too.
5. Keep your shed and garage locked. Your tools are useful to a thief who wants to gain entry. If your garage has a communicating door with the inside of the house, secure it just like another exterior door.
6. Don’t leave ladders lying around. If you must leave them outside, padlock them to something secure.
7. Close the curtains and leave a light on in a room when you are out (but not in the hall, no-one spends the evening in the hall). Buy a timer switch as a stocking filler for a loved one.
8. Lighten dark areas around your home using low energy dusk ‘til dawn lighting. Remember – burglars hate light.
9. Make sure that your house and contents are adequately insured.
10. Mark your valuables! Use one of the widely available kits or look out for property marking events on your local police page on Facebook, where you can take your items along to be marked.
11. Leave a radio on, playing a talk programme rather than music. You can also consider a ‘simulated TV’ to give the appearance from outside that a TV is on.
12. Keep an eye out for the vulnerable and older people at Christmas.

And remember… burglary and car crime usually increase at Christmas, so don’t drop presents at your car then return to your shopping trip, as a thief could be watching. Remove all valuables from your vehicle – a thief seeing a coat on the back seat might think there is a purse, wallet or other valuables in it or under it.