In a Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Police Team Communique No.26, they offer these 24 crime prevention tips for Christmas,
1. Keep your home secure Make sure that you’ve secured all outside doors and windows and, if going out and you have a burglar alarm, make sure it’s set.
2. Store gifts well out of sight until Christmas Day.
3. When going out, user timer switches. To turn switches on when it gets dark – don’t forget bedrooms.
4. If going away. Don’t close your curtains in the daytime, unless a room is clearly a bedroom. Ask a trusted friend to close them for you when it gets dark. They can make your house look occupied in your absence and even park their car in your drive. The best burglary deterrent is to make your house look occupied at all times.
5. Cancel your milk order if you are going away.
6. A plug-in timer for the radio would make it sound as if someone is at home. Tune the radio to a station that has more talking than music.
Be safe when parked at home
7. Don’t leave the engine running. On cold mornings, never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running to warm it up or defrost the windows. So many cars are stolen this way it has a name – frosting!
8. Use locking wheel nuts on alloys. Fit locking wheel nuts, as alloy wheels are often a target for car thieves.
9. 10. & 11. Don’t leave car doors or windows open and remember to lock all car doors. Close and lock all doors and secure windows every time you leave the car unattended.
12. Don’t park cars where they’re hidden from view. If you can’t park in a garage, try and park your car where you can see it from a house window. Do not park it behind high walls or bushes.
13. Use security lights on outside walls. Thieves don’t like working in the light where they can be detected.
14. Remove your in-car electronic equipment. These are the most sought-after items in your car. With satnavs remember to remove suction pads, and wipe away any tell-tale marks as thieves will look out for these.
15. Keep fuel caps locked. You should have a fuel cap which locks.
16. If you have a garage, use it. Always lock your car and garage or try to park in a well-lit, open place.
Be safe when leaving your car
17. Don’t leave anything on display in your car. At this time of year make sure any presents are kept well out if view. Even an old coat on the back seat is a temptation for someone to ‘smash and grab’.
18. Do not display personal information in the car. eg. private mail or documents with your address on it.
19. Don’t keep car registration documents in the car. Having access to your car registration documents makes it easier to sell on your car illegally.
20. & 21. Take all your belongings with you when you leave the car and shut your glove compartment. Never leave any of the following on display, as they are all particularly attractive to car thieves: mobile phones; laptop computers; credit and debit cards; cash.
22. Use a steering wheel lock. Mechanical immobilisers, such as steering-wheel locks, are a good alternative to electronic immobilisers.
23. Security etch windows. Consider having your car’s registration number, or the last 7 digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto all glass surfaces – including the headlamps.
24. Don’t leave your keys in the ignition. When you leave your car, always remove the ignition key and lock all doors. Follow this routine all the time, even when filling up with petrol or just popping into the shop.