Don’t let criminals cash in on your Christmas

Police in Cumbria are urging everyone to be security-conscious this festive season – and stop criminals cashing in on your Christmas.

We’re asking everyone to check they are taking basic measures such as locking doors and keeping an eye on their belongings while out-and-about this festive season.

Burglars and thieves can strike at any time of the year – but town and city centres are busier and people may be taking delivery of expensive items in the run up to December 25.

Detective Superintendent Ian Hussey oversees Operation Themis, which is Cumbria Police’s response to and focus on burglaries.

He said: “With the festive season upon us, security can drop to the bottom of people’s priorities as we all have so much to do – but we’d urge people not to let opportunist criminals spoil the season by taking advantage and cashing in on your Christmas.

“Some of the measures we suggest may seem obvious but burglars and thieves are often opportunistic and one slip of the mind could give them the chance they are after to steal from you.

“We want everyone to enjoy a merry and crime-free Christmas and New Year – so we’d ask everyone to be careful and protect their homes and their belongings.”

Burglaries at homes across Cumbria are often spontaneous crimes carried out by thieves trying door handles or reaching in through open windows.

Det Supt Hussey added: “Simple steps such as locking doors, not leaving out-of-sight windows open and not leaving valuable possessions in view of potential thieves can be effective in preventing incidents.

“We appreciate energy costs are high, but please consider keeping a visible light or lamp on if you are out.

“We would also encourage you to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity you witness.

“By reporting information, this not only helps inform us of potential criminal behaviour but it can lead to robust action being taken and offenders being brought to justice.”

Some simple measures to stop burglars

  • Ensure your house is secure, preventing someone entering when you are busy elsewhere in the house or garden.
  • Lock doors and windows before you go out. Remove keys from locks and keep out of reach of windows and doors.
  • Consider installing security cameras.
  • Leave a light on in a room and draw curtains if you go out at night.
  • Consider fitting a burglar alarm, checking regularly to ensure they work.

Some security reminders for when you are out shopping:

  • Only take out in bags what is really needed.
  • Keep wallets, purses, cash, phones and cards at the bottom of any bags or secure – preferably fastened – in a pocket.
  • Keep belongings out of sight in shops, cafes and bars – for example don’t leave handbags on the back of chairs or the floor, or phones on pub tables.

Det Supt Hussey added: “Once you’ve done your shopping and presents have been opened, please make sure they are kept away as best you can from windows and doors.

“I’d also urge people to dispose of packaging carefully so you don’t advertise expensive new goods that are inside the house.”

Got information?

You can find more crime-prevention advice here: Protecting your home from crime | Crime prevention | Cumbria Police

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