A combination of factors during the winter months highlights the need to keep vigilant and deter criminals. The darker nights and run up to Christmas can give opportunists the excuse they have been waiting for. This year has seen a 10% increase in police reported criminal activity, so it is imperative we do as much as possible to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our property as safe as possible.
Now the clocks have gone back it gets darker much earlier providing cover for criminals, and whether your looking into safety at home or out and about doing that necessary Christmas shopping, we have some great tips on how to stay safe this winter.
Keep your property safe
1. Register on Immobilise
You can register anything on Immobilise that has a unique identifier. So whether it’s a new bike your children have for Christmas or the latest laptop with a serial number, it is easy to register and upload photos of all your belongings to keep an up to date record in case they become lost or stolen.
2. Mark your property
It is important to make sure you have unique identifiers on your property so that if lost or stolen they can be identified by the police. In many cases the items may have IMEI/Serial numbers to identify them but most non-technical items don’t. In this scenario, you can use a variety of markers such as UV Pens, Stickers or an ImmobiTag for a bicycle or ImmobiDot for smaller items. For a full range of useful marking products click here.
3. Deter potential criminals
Good security systems such as CCTV are a good start, however the Fake TV is also a must have at this time of year. It simulates the same light as you get from have a TV on, so from the outside it looks like someone is in the house. But there are other small things you can do to protect your property such as:
- Invest in a light timer to turn on inside lights even when you’re out
- Invest in a motion sensor outdoor flood light
- Keep curtains closed at night
- Keep all Christmas presents and keys out of sight and not near any windows or doors for easy access
- Do not hide spare keys outside
4. Silence is golden
Social media has integrated into our daily lives and unfortunately it does make it easier for criminals to know when a house is empty. If you’re going away this Christmas, don’t advertise it on social media and make sure you keep your accounts locked to the public. Also make sure only trustworthy neighbours know and try to cancel all deliveries while away so that it doesn’t look like no one is home.
5. Hide the evidence
After a great big shopping spree and even after opening presents on Christmas Day, don’t throw all the packaging in the same bin at the same time. It only shows burglars what new expensive items are in your home. Try and take it to a recycling centre or wait until you know the bins are being collected.
6. Stay safe while Christmas Shopping
Staying vigilant while enjoying the festivities can be hard but shopping up a storm can make you an easy target. Here are a few tips to help keep you safer:
- When at a cash point shield your pin and put any cash away safely before you walk off.
- Use debit cards as much as you can rather than carrying large amounts of cash.
- Keep handbags and wallets safe and don’t put them down anywhere.
- Keep an eye on your phone and try not to use it out on the street. The latest street thefts are happening to people on their mobile phones by muggers on moped bikes.
- Park vigilantly and don’t park in dark backstreet areas. Keep the car locked until you reach the door.
Finally, stay safe by being aware of your surroundings and enjoy the festivities!
Thanks to IMMOBILISE for the tips this year on staying safe!