Christmas security advice

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With the big day fast approaching, people tend to be occupied making sure that they have everything ready for the festive season, sometimes its possible to drop your guard when it comes to protecting your home. Having bought all those wonderful presents, don’t make it easy for someone to steal them from you.

Tayside Police appeal to everyone to make Christmas a misery for the opportunist thief by adopting a common sense approach to safety and security.

Try to avoid having the presents piled up under the Christmas tree. Keep them out of sight in a secure place until last thing on Christmas Eve. The reason is that thieves often do a bit of ‘window shopping’ to see if it’s worthwhile breaking into a house, so ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is a good deterrent. Already this year we have seen reports of presents being stolen by heartless thieves.

After Christmas Day, don’t advertise the fact that you have new goods by leaving empty boxes and packaging lying outside – dispose of it carefully.

If you are going out, particularly at this time of the year when it gets dark early, make your house look as if someone is at home. Leave a light on or fit internal timer switches to your lamps, and perhaps leave the television on or the radio playing. Make sure you draw the curtains or blinds before leaving, and lock all doors and windows. Fitting additional locks to any vulnerable windows is always a good idea. Additional security features such as external lighting act as a deterrent. Set the alarm if you have one and if you don’t, please consider getting one.

Even when at home please make sure that doors are secure. In the past week thieves have sneaked into three houses while the occupants were at home. Handbags containing money and credit cards have been stolen and on two occasions the family car was taken as thieves were able to steal the keys.

Remember the garage and shed as well. There have been several reports of thefts from insecure or poorly secured garages and sheds recently and Christmas goods stolen.

Some people go away to relatives or friends over the festive season, so please use an automatic timer switch for lights, and ask a trusted relative, neighbour or friend to watch your home. Don’t forget to cancel the newspapers and milk if you get them delivered, and either redirect your mail through the Post Office or have your neighbour take mail into the house.

Lastly, be a good neighbour and keep an eye on each other’s houses. If you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area, then contact the police immediately.

Please keep this advice in mind. Tayside Police hopes that everyone has a great time this Christmas and New Year, but remember that thieves won’t be taking a holiday. So be aware and alert at all times, take a few simple measures to protect your home, and don’t let them spoil it for you.