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Don't let your home be a window shopping haven for burglars

Don't let your property be a window shopping haven for burglars

While many New Zealanders are still enjoying their holidays there are also many who are preparing to go away, and Central District Police want to send a timely reminder to those people to make sure they secure their property and prevent it from being a window shopping haven for opportunistic burglars.

"At this time of year we do see an increase in dishonesty offending across the District in the areas of burglary and theft from vehicles. Even if you are just popping out to the shops simple steps such as shutting and securing all your windows and making sure valuables are kept out of sight can save you a whole of stress and upset in the long run," says Central District Prevention Manager Inspector Mark Harrison.

"These may sound like simple steps but people can often forget to practice these given they may have a lot on their mind especially at this time of the year.

"Reducing burglary occurrences and preventing revictimisation is a major focus for Police and by giving people the tools and advice to help them make their home secure and safe we can together reduce those window shopping opportunities for burglars."

There is a lot of useful information and resources on how you can keep your home and car safe on the Police website.

"You can also visit your local police station and speak to staff about how you can make your home safer and less desirable to burglars," says Inspector Harrison.

Protect yourself and your community by taking some simple steps:

Make sure your house, vehicles, sheds and garages are secured at all times and use effective catches and locks.
Don't leave a spare door key hidden outside.
Invest in an alarm, quality deadlocks and security lighting.
Keep valuables out of view.
Make the house look lived in - put lights on automatic timers and have someone open and close curtains and take the post in.
Make sure plants and trees are well trimmed - don't give thieves a place to hide.
Mark your property so it can be easily identified if recovered
Make a list of property and record serial numbers
Take photos of unique items such as jewellery and ornaments
Don't put empty boxes from new purchases out with the rubbish as it advertises what is in your house - take them to be recycled.
Getting to know your neighbours is also effective in the fight against crime.
A great way to prevent burglaries is to report any suspicious behaviour to your local Police Station or call 111. Police appreciate it when people call about things that are not quite right in their neighbourhood. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong then it probably is.

Householders should also take advantage of Operation SNAP which enables anyone to record serial numbers and other unique identifying details of their valuable goods on an electronic database for free. Visit www.snap.org.nz for further information. Operation SNAP is a completely secure website and is supported by NZ Police.


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