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Homeowners are being urged to prevent burglaries by keeping property secure and valuable out of view over the festive season.
People leaving presents on view under Christmas trees, buying lots of new items and leaving homes unoccupied as they go out shopping or visiting friends and family can prove a tempting combination for criminals.
In order to tackle the issues Humberside Police will be targeting known offenders and carrying out both high visibility and undercover patrols of burglary hotspots.
“Burglary at any time is awful but at Christmas the distress caused can be even worse with homes feeling violated and plans for festive period being thrown into disarray.
"For this reason we are committed to the public in supporting you with policing activity to prevent and deter burglaries across the force, with proactive targeted patrolling, offering guidance to residents around improving the security of their homes and targeting offenders to ensure they are quickly brought to justice.
“But the key is preventing as many offences as possible by encouraging members of the public to keep their homes secure, avoiding placing presents or valuables in view to would be burglars and by reporting crime in progress to us on 999.”
In December 2014*, 313 homes were targeted by burglars across the Humberside police force area. Some victims had their gifts stolen and festive plans ruined by opportunist offenders.
On Gifford Close, Hull last December an insecure home was targets by a opportunist thief. The unknown burglar spotted the slightly ajar rear ground floor window before entering the property and stealing a number of presents that were wrapped under the tree.
In another incident on Kettlewell Road, Grimsby last year offenders entered a unlocked flat and took 20 presents that had been left wrapped in the property.
“I don’t want to see similar incidents to these again this year and therefore I would urge everyone to do their bit by keeping their homes secure to keep thieves out and not leaving items that may tempt thieves on display.
"Together we can make it a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons.”
Here are our top five tips for keeping you and your home safe over Christmas:
Keep your home secure. A third of burglaries see thieves getting in through unlocked or open doors and windows.
Store gifts out of sight until Christmas day.
Be a good neighbour, report anything suspicious in your area to the police on 101.
Make your home look occupied even when you’re out. Use timer-switches on your lights, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to close/open your curtains for you and use a plug-in timer for the radio to make it look and sound as if someone is at home.
Remember to also keep your outbuildings as secure as possible. Use a decent lock and consider fitting an alarm.
For further advice on keeping yourself and property safe over the Christmas period visit Humberside Police's virtual on-line Yuletide Christmas Calendar.
Behind each window of the calendar you will find a Yuletide related Christmas video aimed at highlighting the work of the force, helping to keep you safe or simply bringing a smile to your face.
If you see people acting suspiciously in your community, if there is a burglary in progress or if you have details about those involved in criminality get in touch. This can be done using 999 in an emergency, 101 in a non-emergency or via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.