Safety tips to thwart Christmas thieves
WITH Christmas being a high-risk time for break-ins, police are urging all residents to make their home security a top priority.
District Crime Prevention Officer, Senior Constable Kerrin Sheedy said there were many simple things that residents could do to ensure their home and contents were protected this December.
"What we have seen is thieves line up two potential houses and then analyse them to see which could be the easiest to get into," she said.
"Offenders look at their environment.
"If your wheelie bins aren't locked up they can use them to climb into second storey windows.
"The same goes for ladders. If your ladder is easily accessible, they can use that to get onto the roof and then find the manhole.
"People also need to ensure their doors and windows are locked at all times."
One of the biggest no-nos at this time of the year is displaying your Christmas tree in your front window.
"Thieves will see your big Christmas tree and all your presents underneath. You don't want to show them what you have," Snr Cnt Sheedy said.
Here are her top tips to keep your home secure.
Use the security you have, ensuring all doors and windows are locked but also key locked.
Install an intruder alarm, or internal/external cameras that you can monitor while on your travels.
Remove all valuable items within from view, you don't want everyone to know what you have.
Lock and secure your motor vehicle in a garage, and remove valuables and car keys.
Implement a car alarm or immobiliser to minimise your vehicle being stolen.
Remove items that can be used to gain access into your house such as ladders, garden tools, and items of value - bikes, lawn mowers and secure in your shed or garage.
Make sure sensor lights outside your home are functioning.
Place lights, televisions and a stereo inside your home, on timers.
Advise good neighbours you are away, so they can remove mail and return wheelie bins after collection.
Cancel orders to the house such as newspapers.
Organise your grass to be mowed before you leave, or have it done while away.
Ensure answering machines don't state that you are away and for how long.
Don't post your travels and the length of time your away on social media, you don't know who your friends are, and unwanted visitors.
Advise the local police that you will be going away, and they will include your address on their patrols.
Organise a reliable relative/friend/neighbour to have a key to your home in case of emergency.