Hertfordshire Constabulary is sharing advice with residents to make sure any new valuables they received at Christmas stay safe and secure.
The number of burglaries in Hertfordshire are currently around the same level as this time last year, however the Three Rivers, Dacorum, Watford and St Albans areas have all experienced increases.
During the first few weeks of the New Year burglars are looking out for signs that homes have new valuables and expensive equipment they can steal. Leaving items on view or packaging outside of your home can alert thieves to the valuables you have.
Detective Chief Inspector Luke Whinnett, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Local Policing Command said: “Everyone is using and enjoying the gifts they received this Christmas and it would be terrible to lose a new treasured item or have it stolen. Leaving packaging out where it can be seen, can advertise your new items to burglars. Similarly, if you are showing off new phones, jewellery or other valuables when out in public this can attract the attention of thieves. Don’t leave empty packaging on view and keep valuables out of sight when out in public.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary offers the following advice to protect your new valuables:
If you’re due to get home after it gets dark, why not use timer switches on your lamps to give your home the ‘lived-in’ look?
Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVCu doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them.
Pay particular attention to making sure that ground floor windows and windows that are accessible above flat roofs, close to drain pipes or in reach of fire escapes, are secure.
Don’t leave boxes and packaging out by your bin which could advertise to passing opportunistic thieves what they may find inside your home.
Try to keep all loose valuables like laptops, cameras and mobile phones out of the sight of anybody looking in
Property marking items using ultra violet (UV) security marker pens, which leave a mark that is not visible to the naked eye, are a cost effective way. These pens are available from good stationery stores at a reasonable cost.
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.
Never leave any valuables in your vehicle - not even in the glove-box or boot - and keep ALL other possessions out of sight. Even if you know that there is nothing valuable in your coat pocket or bag left on the back seat, a thief may try their luck.
Neighbourhood watch schemes make residential areas safer – visit: Hertswatch to join your local scheme.