With the shortest day of the year coming up, we have issued a number of tips to ensure people stay safe over the festive period.
With winter quickly approaching we are urging people to take a number of measures to protect themselves and their properties during the darker nights.
The aim is to cut crimes which traditionally rise when the clocks go back. While crime has been reducing in recent years, burglary, robbery and vehicle crime can increase with the darker nights.
Our tips are:
* Most burglars are opportunists – Make sure you use a light timer switch to make it look like you’re at home
* One in five burglaries take place through unsecure windows and doors, so keep them locked – don’t let them in!
* Do not leave your house or car keys in a visible and easy to reach place in your house
* Be careful not to advertise your movements when visiting public places or using social media sites like Facebook
* When out and about keep expensive items out of sight and close to you at all times
* Consider property marking your expensive and valuable items
* Make sure people know your whereabouts
* Do not leave property on display in your car
* Consider personal safety when travelling at night, avoid dark short cuts and always let someone know where you are going
* Register your valuables for free on the National Property Database www.immobilise.com
* Plan journeys in advance and remember to book a licensed taxi before heading out for the night.
With the darkest nights upon us, thieves may take advantage which could increase the risk of burglaries and thefts. We are urging people to do as much as they can to ensure they are not targeted by thieves and by following a few common sense safety tips they may save themselves and their families a lot of money and distress.