Cumbria Police have launched an online Winter Safety Awareness campaign. The campaign is set to run throughout winter, promoting useful safety information, on a wide range of all areas.
The winter months bring longer periods of reduced visibility and more serve weather conditions. The campaign will provide specific advice to help people keep themselves, others, and their belongings safer in the winter months.
The first half of the campaign will focus on areas including road user safety and keeping property and valuables secure.
A few safety tips from the first half of the campaign
The reduced visibility in winter nights makes it harder for road users to see each other. It is essential that anyone who is out walking, cycling, or running, can be seen well by use appropriate lights, reflectors and bright clothing.
It is a driver’s responsibility to ensure the lights are working on their vehicle before their journey and are not obscured in any way, such as mud, and that the vehicle is safe and legal to drive. It is also important that motorists put their lights on at appropriate times, not relying on running lights.
The speed limit is not a target, you should always drive to the weather conditions in front of you.
Opportunistic thieves often look for easy targets, trying door handles and windows for quick access. They will also look for empty properties or properties with valuables in plain view.
Make your property harder to access by:
- Locking all doors and windows before you go out and ensuring that your house and keys are secure before you go to bed
- Removing keys from locks and keeping them out of reach and out of sight, not on a hall table.
- Keeping a light or lamp on if you are out
- Installing real or dummy CCTV
Farms and rural properties can also be targeted over the winter months, including by organised criminals.
Ways to help deter theft of machinery and equipment:
- Remove keys and keep them stored securely, away from the vehicle
- When not in use, keep quads and ATVs locked up and out of sight
- Install tracking devices and immobilisers
- Use Construction Equipment Security and Registration Scheme (Cesar)
- Use a security cage, steering brake/lock, ground anchor or wheel clamp when not in use
- Keep records of serial numbers and photographs of your kit, including unique identifying features
A Cumbria Police Spokesperson said,
“It is important to regularly run safety campaigns to keep the information in people’s minds.
“Whilst we shouldn’t have to consider how best to protect our belongings, there are unfortunately people out there looking for an easy gain at other people’s expense.
“Providing advice from our experience and knowledge is important to get people talking about safety and then taking the simple steps to best secure their property.
“There is no place for theft in Cumbria, it is an awful crime that profits from taking from others. We have recently arrested people on suspicion of burglary and quad bike thefts and will continue to pursue all offenders.
“To anyone considering undertaking criminal offences for profit please know this, when we identify you, you will be held to account for your actions and your ill-gotten gains pursued by proceeds of crime. Your criminal record will stop you travelling to certain counties and getting certain jobs and you will have no financial benefit remaining from it. Is these consequences worth the risk?
“Our officers will continue with their high visibility foot and vehicle patrols, neighbourhood policing and proactive operations targeting areas of crime that the public highlight to us.
“Cumbria remains one of the safest places in the country to live and visit that is achieved by the hard work of officers, partner agencies and the support of our communities in reporting their concerns and information to us.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said,
“Darker, longer nights provide criminals with more opportunity to commit crimes, so it is essential that we all take time to ensure our property is as safe and secure as possible.
“Prevention really is the key to crimes such as this – the more difficult we make it for criminals to take our belongings the less time they will spend trying to do so.
“Many of us have started our Christmas shopping and the last thing anyone wants is to fall victim to heartless thieves – so please make sure your gifts are hidden away and out of sight.
“We also need to take time to think about our personal safety on the roads as drivers and pedestrians.
“Visibility is reduced at this time of year so it’s important that when we are out and about that we wear bright clothes and reflectors, and stay off the roads, where possible.
“It’s also the duty of the driver to pay attention to the road around them and to ensure their vehicle is safe to drive in icy and snowy conditions.
“These small steps can make all of us safer this winter.”
For more safety advice, visit: Get Advice – Cumbria Constabulary.
WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?
If you have been the victim of a crime, visit Cumbria – Victim Support. Victim support can offer support and access to a range of free, local support services.
HOW DO I REPORT TO POLICE?
If you wish to report to police you can do so online at www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it.
You can also phone on 101.
Always phone 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress.
Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For accessible method to contact the police by visit: Accessible Contact Methods – Cumbria Constabulary.