Christmas burglaries – you can help yourself: a victim’s view

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Getting excited about Christmas – wow, it’s only three weeks away!

Out shopping looking for those special presents for your family and friends. It’s a great time to spend and enjoy with our families.

What about your house though – did you lock the doors when you left and set the alarm? Will you be getting home after dark? Are any lights on? Does your house look empty?

Caroline lives in a village in Huntingdonshire and was recently a victim of burglary, she said: “I came home from work and very quickly realised that something was wrong – I went into the house and saw that the glass in a rear door had been smashed.

“I checked and found that my bedroom had been searched and my jewellery stolen. It was a horrible experience realising that someone has been in my house and searched through my private things.

“It’s strange, I can see now that my house looked vulnerable. Coming home in the dark – all the other houses in the street had lights on and were occupied – mine just looked like a target.”

Caroline is going to have an alarm fitted and will be using timers to switch lamps on when she is out after dark.

We generally see an increase in dwelling burglaries as Christmas approaches, what with people out shopping for presents and the evenings drawing in.

Coming home to a burglary is a very unpleasant experience at any time of the year, but there are some simple things you can do to help reduce that chance:

  • Consider an alarm if you don’t already have one and make sure you use it – they are not necessarily as expensive as you think
  • Make your house look occupied – put lamps on timers when you are out after dark and consider using a fake TV box (google fake TV), these can also be used with timers
  • Don’t leave Christmas presents on show or put them under the tree until the last minute
  • Don’t leave empty boxes outside on show for people to see what you have got

For more security advice visit the constabulary website here http://www.cambs.police.uk/crimeprevention/, here you will find an interactive house with lots of advice and up to date British Standards, you can also complete a home security check.

Wishing you all a very merry, and crime-free, Christmas!
Huntingdonshire Crime Reduction Officer, Dave Griffin

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