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Christmas Crime Prevention Advice

author: Sara Giles - 24 December 2018

 Christmas is traditionally the time for joyfulness and giving, however, there are some among us who do not wish to bring you peace on earth......

Sara Giles of Newport Pet Services is a qualified Crime Prevention Practitioner and spent over 8 years working for the Police and, latterly, the London Mayor’s Office of Policing & Crime (MOPAC). Here, she offers us her top crime prevention tips for the festive season.

1.Whether you’re out doing some last-minute Christmas shopping or travelling to visit friends and family, do not be tempted to leave Christmas presents in your vehicle. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to smash a window and take them.

2. If you have bought your family new gadgets or electronic devices as presents, be careful not to leave the empty boxes on the kerb for recycling as this advertises to thieves the contents of your house! Instead, break the boxes down into smaller pieces and place in the bottom of your recycling bag.

3. If you’re leaving your home unattended over the festive period, you need to make your house look occupied in order to prevent burglary. Don’t just leave the landing light on – any burglar worth their salt knows full well that you’re not sat on the landing reading the paper while the rest of your house is in darkness! Instead, use timer switches to switch on several lights around your home at various intervals. If you have smart light bulbs and use an app to switch your lights on and off, you should be able to set up a security routine that switches lights on and off randomly throughout your home.

4Make your home look active by using a TV simulator light to mimic the blue glow of someone watching television. Tune your radio to BBC Radio 4 as this is a speech-only channel so makes it sound like there is a burble of conversation coming from the house.

5. Install dusk-to-dawn lighting by both the front and rear door of your property, thus providing a source of continuous, gentle illumination throughout the hours of darkness. This makes it more difficult for any intruders to hide in the shadows and also provides you and your family with a greater level of reassurance. PIR motion-sensitive lights have not been recommended for a number of years, as they're easily tampered with, cost a huge amount of electricity to run, and often increase the fear of crime by repeat activations by cats, foxes, etc. Statistically, dwellings with dusk-to-dawn lighting installed are less likely to be burgled than dwellings that have PIR lighting. You can purchase hard-wired or solar-powered dusk-to-dawn lights depending on your requirements, andif you already have a manual on/off light installed, you can replace the existing bulb with a dusk-to-dawn bulb.

6. If you have pets that you cannot take with you when you’re away from home, hiring a pet sitter can often solve both problems of leaving your house and animals unattended. At Newport Pet Services, we offer day visits and overnight pet sitting services, leaving you reassured that your home is occupied and your pets are well cared for in their own environment. Please contact us for more details.

Just a few small changes can make all the difference when it comes to crime prevention. What thieves have to consider is risk vs reward – if you can make the risk of being caught too great, then it does not matter what their object of desire is, they just won’t risk it and will instead move onto another target.

Have a safe and enjoyable festive season!

Sara Giles

Newport Pet Services

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