Hertfordshire Constabulary would like to wish all residents in the county a merry, crime-free Christmas.
During December police are reminding residents not to ‘gift’ opportunities to criminals and keep their homes and valuables secure by following some simple crime prevention tips.
Burglary rates are currently lower than at the same time last year, but there is often an increase in residential burglaries in the run up to Christmas. The areas that have seen a rise this year are Three Rivers, Dacorum and St Albans.
Detective Chief Inspector Luke Whinnett, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Local Policing Command, said: “This is a busy time of year for everyone, especially criminals. They know that homes, sheds and cars are full of gifts and will be on the lookout for opportunities to steal them. Don’t make things easy for them by storing gifts in the shed or garage, or leaving them in cars. If you leave anything valuable on view either at home or in the car, you may be presenting a thief with an opportunity.”
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.
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 marking and registering your children’s Christmas gifts will help to keep them safe and make them easier to return if they are 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 back pockets.
Leaving boxes and packaging of expensive items by your bins will alert burglars that your home is full of valuables.
Consider installing a door bell 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, radios and a simulated TV.
Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed.
Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows.
Ensure your vehicle is locked and remove all valuables as burglars often check to see if doors are left unlocked.
You can report suspicious activity in your area or information online, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat or call the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference
Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form.