Published: Tuesday, 28th November 2023

With the festive season just around the corner and gift buying in full swing, it’s more important than ever to take extra steps to prevent burglaries.

Unfortunately, we often see an increase in burglary in the weeks running up to Christmas. We are encouraging residents and visitors to be extra vigilant during this time of year and take the below extra steps and precautions to prevent residential burglaries and theft: 

  • Make sure all your windows and doors are closed and locked – even if you’re only going out for a few minutes.

  • Keep valuables (especially Christmas gifts) out of sight and away from windows. 

  • Be mindful of where your tree is and try to avoid it being visible from a window, as you don’t want to advertise wrapped gifts. 

  • If you’re going out or going away for Christmas, please be careful about publicising where you are on social media. You never know who’s watching.   

  • If you’re having parcels delivered and won’t be in, make sure you redirect them to a local shop, a parcel locker or trusted neighbour. Do not leave a visible note for couriers with instructions for where to leave your parcels. 

  • Make sure you have a good lock on your shed and outside storage cupboards and avoid storing tools inside which could be used to break into your property. 

  • Consider installing a video doorbell or a CCTV camera to help you know who’s outside your property. 

  • Keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys including car keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through small openings. 

  • Dispose of packaging from expensive items discreetly – break down large cardboard boxes and put them in your blue top bin. 

  • Be vigilant when out shopping, look around you and keep an eye on your valuables. 

Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement said: “Unfortunately criminals take advantage at this time of year with valuable gifts lying around and people spending more time away from home visiting loved ones. It’s so important to take these extra precautions to avoid becoming victim to burglary and theft. Make sure you check in with neighbours, especially the elderly, and share these tips with them.”   

DI Andrew Gattase from the Metropolitan Police said: “It’s important to take extra precautions to not become a victim of residential burglary this festive season. 

Stay vigilant, if you see anything that feels out of the ordinary, but you don’t think it warrants a 999 call please call 101, for emergencies always call 999.”

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