Give burglars the cold shoulder this Christmas

05 Dec 2016 09:37 AM

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With winter well and truly upon us and Christmas fast approaching, police in Newcastle and Gateshead are urging residents to help give burglars the cold shoulder.

Officers are advising homeowners to 'protect, prepare and prevent' to help keep burglars out of their homes and themselves and their property safe in the coming months.

People are urged to protect their homes, their valuables, their sheds, cars and belongings. Everyone works hard for what they have so don't make it easy for burglars or thieves to take it from you.

Being prepared in advance is important. Think about if a burglar was to target your home - what steps could you take in advance to deter them and make it difficult for them? Things like installing burglar alarms, fitting security lighting to outside areas and by making sure that any valuables inside your home are kept out of sight and not on open view. Make sure any locks you have are working and fit for purpose or consider fitting extra locks on doors, windows or sheds.

Preventing any burglaries from happening in the first place is ideally what we want people to do. Stop burglars from having it easy by remembering to lock doors and windows at all times, even when inside the house and especially overnight. Keep sheds and garages locked up, always get into the habit of locking your car up every time you leave it - even if only for minutes - and NEVER leave things like mobile phones or purses or wallets inside your car.

Report suspicious people or behaviour to police. You know your own neighbourhood and if something doesn't look or feel right then chances are you're right - so ring the police and report it, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Neighbourhood Policing Teams all across Newcastle and Gateshead are stepping up patrols on evenings and overnight in the run up to Christmas. Focusing on key areas at key times the aim is to prevent any burglaries from happening by providing a visible presence and passing on crime prevention advice every time they speak to residents.

Central Area Command Superintendent David Felton said: "Preventing burglaries from happening and stopping burglars from getting inside peoples' homes are our priority over the winter months.

"Being the victim of a burglary can be life changing. Knowing someone has been inside your home and through your belongings is a feeling that no one should have to experience and we will do everything we can to make sure that it never happens.

"We are committed to doing everything we can to stop burglars and in the run up to Christmas we will have extra patrols throughout Newcastle and Gateshead. These will be done at times when we know burglars tend to operate - evenings, nights and early hours of the morning. Burglars love the dark. This time of year gives them more time to do their work and more cover to try and get into peoples' homes and we want to make it as difficult as we can for them.

"People can help us - by locking doors and windows, making sure sheds and garages and patio doors are secure. By using burglar alarms and security lights and CCTV cameras. Protect, prepare and prevent. Put yourself in the shoes of a burglar and look for easy ways into your home and take steps to make it harder.

"Anyone who wants any extra crime prevention advice or help from police can call us on 101 and we can arrange a home visit where we can discuss your security. Please contact us for any help that you or any of your family members, especially the elderly or vulnerable, might need."

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