Top tips from Wandsworth Council
Households are being warned by the Council that they can minimize the chances of falling victim to crime this Christmas by following a few simple steps.
The festive season often sees an increase in burglary rates as criminals target expensive gifts and presents, plus the large amounts of food and drink that people buy in for the holiday season.
And with many people spending Christmas with friends and family, burglars are always on the lookout for properties that are unoccupied.
Any of the following factors can increase the risk of a break-in:
Simple steps which can reduce the chances of being burgled include:
If you are going away for an extended period over Christmas and the New Year:
If possible people should also mark their property with a UV pen. Writing their door number and postcode on items like televisions, computers, laptops, music systems and bicycles means that if they are recovered by the police they can be returned to you - and at the same time give police the evidence they need to convict someone of burglary, theft or handling stolen goods.
Another step people can take to protect their belongings is register them for free online on the Immobilise website. It won't cost you a penny and it could ensure that if the worst happens and an item is stolen, it could be traced back to you by the police.
Details stored on Immobilise are used by all UK police forces to trace owners of lost and stolen property. In addition Immobilise is checked daily by a huge range of recovery agencies and lost property offices including Transport for London's lost property office.
Police chiefs in Wandsworth are strongly urging residents to take advantage of this free service. To find out more visit http://www.immobilise.com/.
If you would like general advice on crime prevention call (020) 8871 6567 or email email@example.com. To contact your local police safer neighbourhoods team and report issues of concern, or provide information about problems in your area, visit www.met.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods.
December 21, 2011