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Preventing burglars from stealing a piece of you Christmas

Now more than ever we will all be spending more time at home which may mean purchasing games console, computers, tablets, games and other expensive items to keep everyone occupied at home. This means there are even more items to keep safe. The best way to do this is to follow our tips for keeping your home secure this festive period.

  • Mark your property. We hold special bike marking events which are worth looking out for if you have got a new bicycle for Christmas. You can mark all your gifts including jewellery, tools etc and can place a sticker on your window to state that your property is parked. Marking your stuff makes it difficult for thieves to sell on, and so less desirable.
  • Register all of you good on the Immobilise Property Marking Register here.
  • Avoid posting photos of your gifts and purchases on social media and be careful not to identify your address in your posts.
  • If you are going out for the whole of Christmas day to form a bubble as per the regulations, ask a trusted neighbour, family member or friend to keep an eye on your home, and do the same for them – don’t’ forget to leave your lights on a timer switch to make it look like someone is at home in the evening.
  • Try and place your Christmas tree out of sight of street fronted windows
  • When Christmas is all over don’t leave the boxes to your valuable gifts out by the rubbish bin, this lets burglars know what you have in your home. Take them directly to your local household recycling centre or think about keeping the broken-down boxes in a garage or loft
  • Don’t keep presents in garden sheds etc and allow someone else to do their shopping at your expense.
  • Do not leave house or car keys near to your letterbox.

Inspector Ram Aston said: “Burglars often target homes specifically and although we will still be patrolling and are here to help you, we urge you to take these steps to protect your home.

“This year has been difficult enough for all of us without coming home or waking up to find someone has stolen some of you valuables. Crime prevention is absolutely crucial and anything residents can do to help protect their home can help make a difference.

“If you leave you home for the day make sure the house is locked up before you go and the burglar alarm is set. Right now the advice during the pandemic is to keep a window open for ventilation but it is really important you take a couple of minutes to check these are closed before leaving your house. Hide any valuable items from view from the outside and don’t leave anything in the garden that could potentially be used to gain entry into your home. Be mindful of where you store your wheelie bin too and consider if it could be used for someone to climb on and access an upstairs window or used to climb over into the garden.  If you’re leaving the car at home and have a garage, park it in the garage while you’re away rather than on the drive and if you’ve got gates close and lock them with a good quality lock.

“If you are victim of a burglary and your property is stolen, if the items are Smart Water marked we can ensure they are returned to you if they are found. This is particularly important with high value items such as games consoles, computers and bikes. It is also incredibly useful to take photos of your valuables so if they are taken you can supply us with an accurate image, This is particularly helpful with jewellery and family heirlooms.”

For more advice on keeping your home safe from burglars visit the West Mercia Police website here and for more ways to secure your home visit Secure By Design here.