OLD acquaintance may be forgot at New Year – but home security never should.
That’s the message from police in Western Area this year.
While many people will be out at parties ushering in 2009, criminals will be out looking for opportunities to steal property.
And Inspector Peter Lawless of the Proactive Policing Team wants all residents to make sure thieves do not have a happy New Year.
He said: “For burglars New Year’s Eve isn’t a holiday, it’s the perfect time to carry out crime.
“Many houses are obviously empty and people are often too busy celebrating to consider they could be potential victims of criminal activity.
He added: “There is only so much we as police can do, but I’d like to reassure people we are doing everything we can. I encourage people to support our efforts by taking a look at their security measures and do everything they can to improve them.
“This doesn’t have to cost the earth nor does it have to take lots of time – a car stereo fascia can be removed in a second. That second has the potential to save a motorist the cost of repairing a smashed window or a severely damaged car door should a thief take a shine to their sound system.”
By taking some of the steps detailed below you can reduce the risk of becoming a target for thieves this festive season.
When out and about, aim to look and act confident. Stay in busy, well-lit areas and try not to be conspicuous about the valuables you are carrying. Keep your credit cards separate from your cheque books and credit card pin numbers. Keep all bags and pockets securely closed or zipped up.
Plan your night out, including how to get home safely.
At home, always use window and door locks.
Don’t leave sets of car keys on display either inside or outside in garage and shed doors.
Fit a spy hole to make sure you can see who is calling before you open the door.
Use timer switches on lights and leave a radio playing to give the impression there is someone at home.
When travelling by car or bike, make sure your vehicle is always left securely locked with no items on display which may attract a thief – CDs, stereos, handbags and sat navs can all be swiped in seconds.
Wherever you are, make sure any valuable belongings you have are property marked with your house number and postcode either using UV markers or etching tools. Marking products such as Smart Water are also valuable. Visit www.immobilise.com and register your valuables securely on line – if stolen this will assist the police to identify and return items to you.
Insp Lawless added: “If you do notice anyone acting suspiciously report it to Cheshire Police. Support us working over Christmas and New Year by helping us to make the festive season safer for all.”
To report crime in progress ring 999 immediately, to report a crime which has taken place ring 0845 458 0000.