Keeping your home secure this Christmas

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As Christmas approaches and homes become stocked with presents and goodies which can be all too attractive prospect for thieves, Police Scotland is issuing safety tips to help keep your secure your home.

Inspector Ewan Henderson said: “Christmas nights out are planned in advance, so just taking a few minutes to think about the security of your home will mean everyone’s Christmas can be fun-filled.

“Posting photos on social media of nights out are an everyday occurrence. What we are asking is that you think about it before you post the messages. Are you inviting someone to break-in to your home by advertising it is unoccupied? Could the messages be posted the next day?”

Peter Kirwan, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, added: “We’re encouraging people to ask a neighbour to keep an eye on their house when they go away. Small things like moving curtains and taking in mail can help make a place look occupied and reduce the risk of a house breaking.”

Police Scotland’s top tips for protecting your home:

• Thieves know that over Christmas there will be high value presents and maybe more cash in your house than is normal. Keep your home secure – lock all windows and doors, don’t leave gifts in view of the windows and keep cash in your home to a minimum.

• If you’re having a house party with lots of guests, it can be all too easy for a thief to slip in unnoticed. Make sure you know everyone who is there. If you’re going to a party, don’t let anyone tailgate you into a house or through a controlled entry door who may not be a guest.

• Protect any gifts you’ve bought for your friends and family. Register mobiles, tablets, laptops and cameras at www.immobilise.com. If you are giving them a good quality bike make sure you include a good quality lock, and register bikes at www.BikeRegister.com.

• If you’re going away for Christmas, keep your home secure. Lock all windows and doors, set your house alarm if you have one, use timers on lights, cancel any deliveries and ask a neighbour or friend you trust to keep an eye out while you’re away.