Don’t give burglars a Christmas present

Police are urging residents to secure their home this winter in a bid to ensure that thieves are not given any presents this Christmas or New Year.

With Christmas fast approaching many homes will be full of valuable gifts. Leaving your home unlocked, all in darkness and with valuables on view under the tree could mean an easy target for criminals.

Suffolk Police are today issuing their top 10 tips to beat the burglar and keep all your gifts safe.

Detective Superintendent Stuart Sedgwick says these simple precautions may be enough to significantly reduce the chances of your home being targeted.

“Winter often means an increase in burglaries as this gives criminals the cover of darkness and as most of us put lights on as soon as we get in, it’s can be easy for them to identify properties where there is no one at home.

“Victims of burglary sometimes make it easier still for the burglar with doors open, keys about, presents all in one place, bags left out to put it all in, car on drive ready to drive away. Therefore we are encouraging all residents to follow our tips and not give burglars an easy ride.

“We are also asking residents to keep an eye on your neighbours homes. Burglars wander around looking for chances. Our best opportunity of catching them in the act is for you to spot them before they break in. Wherever you live keep an eye out for strangers and please call 999 immediately if you see something unusual. This could be someone hanging around outside a property, someone carrying unboxed electrical goods or unusual items, such as heavy bags or pillowcases, or clambering over fences, etc.

“We would rather be called by a dozen people and find it is a false alarm than not be called at all.

“And if you hear about stolen property being offered or sold please tell us. One day it may be your property they’re trying to sell and under those circumstances you’d appreciate someone else giving us a call.

These are Suffolk Police’s top 10 tips to help prevent burglary:

1.      Prevent access to rear of property (eg high lockable gates-walls, fences).

2.      Fit British-standard five-lever Mortise locks (or UPVC equivalent) to all external doors.

3.      Fit (and use) locks to all ground-floor windows and remove keys from locks.

4.      Rear garden fencing/walls should be approximately 6ft, preferably with additional topping (eg trellis or plastic strips with conical points to make climbing difficult). Homeowners should pay particular attention to fences and walls that adjoin alleyways, footpaths or open land.

5.      Reduce cash kept in the house to a minimum and ensure good quality jewellery is not left in jewellery boxes or dressing tables.

6.      Security mark (with house number and postcode) desirable items (eg flatscreen televisions, laptops, mobile telephones and games consoles) and record details and photograph for reference in the event of theft.

7.      Fit additional padlocks and hasps on garage doors-ensure no tools left out and garages and sheds locked.

8.      Do not hide spare keys unsecured outside properties.

9.      Use timer plugs to give the impression property is inhabited when empty.

10.    Consider fitting a burglar alarm as a back up.

For more information about safeguarding your home and property you can contact your local police crime reduction officer on 101 or visit

Police are also keen to encourage new Neighbourhood Watch groups in Suffolk. To find out more about how to start one in your street contact your community watch liaison officer on 101.

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