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Keeping your home safe and secure this holiday season

December is often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, and we want to do everything we can to ensure our communities are able to enjoy it to the fullest. 

We tend to see an increase in residential burglaries around this time. Opportunistic criminals take advantage of the darker evenings to break into properties unnoticed, enticed by the valuable gifts that may be found in homes during the festive season. 

By remaining vigilant and taking a few simple precautions, you can help to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary. 

Keeping your home secure

Here are some tips to help keep your home and belongings safe:

  • Close and lock all doors and windows, even if you're only moving to another room or popping out for a few minutes. It doesn't take long for a burglar to slip inside and grab something valuable.
  • Make sure that any valuables, such as car keys, are out of sight (and out of reach from the letterbox or cat flap). If you have a Christmas tree, we'd advise against leaving presents underneath, particularly if they are visible from doors or windows.
  • Lock your shed, garage and side gate. Burglars will also often use ladders or bins to access first-floor windows, or potentially garden and DIY tools to break in through glass doors, so ensure these are stored away too. 
  • Dispose of present packaging carefully - empty boxes and branded packaging may indicate you have new and desirable goods inside your home. 
  • Be mindful of what you're posting on social media and avoid sharing too much information about holiday plans or expensive gifts. 
  • If you have a home safe to store jewellery and other valuables, try to position it carefully so it won't be discovered and avoid placing it in your bedroom, as this is the first place a burglar will look. Where possible, effectively secure your safe by bolting it to a wall or floor.
  • Refrain from keeping large sums of cash at home.
  • There is lots more advice about keeping your home safe from burglars on our website

    Let's work together

    Residential burglaries are continuing to fall in Bedfordshire.

    We have a dedicated burglary team, Operation Maze, focused on pursuing thieves and criminal networks that make a living through burglary crime, as well as an offender management unit that manages and supports the rehabilitation of some of the county's highest-risk offenders. 

    But we will have the biggest impact on criminal activity if we work together with our communities. 

    If you do notice any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, please report it to us online or call 101. This can help us build intelligence and prevent future incidents.

    Always call 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress. 

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    Message Sent By
    Megan Pease
    (Bedfordshire Police, Digital Communications Officer, Bedfordshire)

    Neighbourhood Alert Cyber Essentials