19 December 2008
...IT IS also a time for taking
Burglars are very active at this time of year
What are burglars looking for?
Burglars want you to make their lives easier. Ideally they are looking for a property with poor security, where nobody is home. They are looking for: open side gates, windows left open, ladders and garden tools left out to gain entry, and high hedges or fences so they cannot be seen. Make your house less appealing to burglars and you are less likely to be targeted.
How can you deter burglars?
- Fit proper locks
- Never leave a spare key concealed near the front door (burglars know all the hiding places)
- Stop letterbox burglaries by storing keys away from the front door
- Install timers which switch lights or radios on and off automatically
- If you go out after dark, draw the curtains and leave some lights on
- Don't label house keys, in case you lose them
- If you live in a flat don't let strangers in via the entry phone system
- Try and keep valuables out of sight from windows. That includes Christmas presents
What if you're away over Christmas?
- Cancel milk and newspapers
- Set your burglar alarm. If you don't have an alarm, consider buying a dummy box
- Ask a friend, neighbour or relative to keep an eye on your property and clear the letterbox or doorstep
- If a neighbour or relative has a key ask them to draw the curtains and put lights on at night
- Encourage a neighbour to park on your drive
Personal safety this Christmas
- Keep alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in busy shops, streets or on public transport. Thieves and pickpockets may well be operating
- Keep purses, wallets and cash secure at the bottom of bags or deep in pockets
- Avoid drawing out cash late at night, or when you are alone
- Do not let handbags out of your sight in shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs or nightclubs
- When going out for the night, let someone know where you are going, the route you intend to take and when you expect to return
- Stay in control of your drinking and never leave drinks unattended
- Try to stay with friends
- Always use a licensed taxi (black cab) or a licensed mini cab
In an emergency dial 999
For all non-emergencies call 0300 123 1212
For more information visit www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention
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