Police in Suffolk and Norfolk are asking residents across both counties to give the ‘gift of safety’ this Christmas, by looking out for vulnerable relatives and neighbours, in addition to thinking about their own home security.
At this time of year some people may feel more vulnerable as it gets darker earlier and they may feel more confined to their homes, having less interaction with family, friends and neighbours.
By taking the time to check on the welfare of someone you know that may be in that situation you can give them the reassurance that they are not alone and help to make them feel safe.
Checking that they have good home security measures and procedures in place will help make them less likely to be a victim of crime. This includes ensuring that they have adequate physical security such as robust door and window locks and that they routinely keep them secured.
Police are reminding all residents to use the ‘close it, lock it, check it’ system for home security, double checking that windows and doors are properly secured to help prevent burglary.
With the festive period approaching Suffolk Police also want to help ensure people don’t advertise their homes to thieves by leaving their property in darkness.
Chief Inspector Matt Rose said: “Leaving your house in total darkness is a sure sign no-one’s at home and an invitation to burglars.
“Burglars look for quick win opportunities; they don’t want to run the risk of a confrontation so simply leaving a light on to give the impression someone is at home is often enough to deter them.
“Timer switches can also be fitted to operate radios and lights if you’re not back from work until after dark or if you’re away for a few days.
“Leaving a light on costs literally pence in electricity – and that pales into insignificance compared to the hundreds of pounds in insurance excess you might have to pay should your home be broken in to.
“A high proportion of all break-ins are as a result of properties being left insecure so checking all windows and doors are locked before leaving the house is crucial.
“It is also important to think about not leaving things insecure in the garden, you may be surprised to know how often homes are broken into using garden tools that are not locked away in the garage or shed”
Anyone wishing to find out more about crime prevention advice and home security should contact their local Crime Reduction Officer at Suffolk Police on 101.
Police rely heavily on information from members of the public about crimes being committed. Officers continue to encourage everyone to remain vigilant to suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods, reporting anything they see or hear that seems out of place and help our communities to have a safe, crime-free Christmas.
Tim Passmore, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Police said: “if you are lucky enough to have friends and family around you at Christmas please spare a thought to those that find this time of the year particularly lonely. If you can spare a minute to pop into check on neighbours who are on their own, I’m sure it would be greatly appreciated.
He added, “Christmas is the time of goodwill which makes it all the most distressing if you are a victim of crime at this time of year. So I’d like to urge everyone to heed this simple advice of the Constabulary and keep yourselves and your property safe and secure over the festive season.”
If you believe a crime is in progress you are asked to call the police immediately on 999. For less urgent matters call 101.