People in the county are being reminded to stay vigilant during the festive season.

While many people will be looking forward to the celebrating, there are others who use this time as an opportunity to burgle houses in an attempt to steal items of value.

Ensuring windows and doors are kept locked and curtains are drawn at night helps to prevent would-be thieves from having an easy view into someone’s house.

Vehicles should also not be used to store presents, and motorists should ensure their cars are kept locked and secure.

After the festive season, empty boxes are a good indication to thieves as to what presents people received and what maybe inside a home, so it is a good idea to wait a while until putting out the boxes for recycling or residents can take them to a refuse site instead.

Kent Police officers would like to encourage people to look out for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours as well as friends and family.

Chief Inspector Shona Lowndes, Kent Police’s District Commander for Medway, said: ‘Criminals are opportunistic and it is easy for people to become complacent during the festive season.

‘Thieves use any way they can in order to get their hands onto other people’s belongings, so I want to remind people to ensure their properties are kept secure and that their gifts are kept out of view.

‘Social media is another way people showcase their new presents, which can highlight what you have inside your house and also tell thieves you’re not at home. I would urge people to be cautious regarding what is shared on social media.’

Top tips for Christmas safety

  • Keep doors and windows locked and curtains drawn at night – invest in light timers so people appear to be at home when they may not be. Leaving TVs and radios on is also a good idea.
  • Do not leave empty boxes outside your home for long periods of time – put the recycling out when your collection is due, or if you can, take the boxes to a refuse site yourself.
  • When out during the festive period ensure you do not walk home alone or take a taxi home alone – always stay with others and ensure your phone is charged before heading out.
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers – it is easy to get caught up in the festive spirit but be aware of others around you and always stay with your friends or family.

By Ed

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