26 December 2017

Police urge Canberrans to take measures to deter burglaries during the holidays

| Glynis Quinlan
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Stay safe this holiday season: ACT Policing has a few tips to keep the burglars from targeting your home.

Police are looking to deter burglaries through a heightened police presence in all Canberra suburbs over the holiday season and are encouraging householders to play their part in protecting their homes.

Canberrans staying home for the holidays are being urged to watch out for their neighbours’ homes, while those going away are encouraged to take sensible home safety measures such as keeping all doors and windows locked and not “advertising” the fact that they are away.

ACT Policing is reminding householders that burglaries are often opportunistic crimes, with intruders often looking for and finding houses left open or unlocked. This then allows them to get what they can and make a quick getaway.

Officer in Charge of Belconnen Police Station, Station Sergeant Chris Meagher said being familiar with home safety measures can significantly reduce the risk of burglaries.

“Simple measures can often deter intruders,” Station Sergeant Meagher said.

“Ensure that all doors and windows are securely locked during the summer months unless there are adequate security screens in place.

“If possible, install visible security systems which cover all external doors and windows as this can be an effective deterrent for intruders and thieves.”

Station Sergeant Meagher said the key is not to advertise that you are away.

“People will look at your home and if they see letters in the letterbox piling up, the bins aren’t attended to, overgrown bushes, they’ll see your place as a target – opportunity exists and you will lose property,” said Station Sergeant Meagher.

“We encourage people to make sure they speak to their neighbours and trusted friends and never ever leave the key in a letterbox, electricity box or under a rock.”

Station Sergeant Meagher said there is always a heightened police presence around the holiday season – not just on the roads but in the suburbs as well.

He said that burglary is a serious crime and had a clear message for Canberra thieves: “ACT police are out there. We’re watching the streets 24/7 during the holiday period. We are watching you and we are watching the homes you are targeting.”

ACT Region Crime Stoppers Chair, Diana Forrester said residents should ensure they take precautionary measures to protect their homes from break-ins during the holidays.

“The most important thing that we ask the community to do is to keep your eyes peeled. Watch out for your neighbours’ homes if you know you’ve got people that are away in the street,” Ms Forrester said.

“Be really responsible about keeping your eyes out for anything unusual or suspicious and, of course, if you see anything at all that you think isn’t right, it probably isn’t and therefore we ask that you do report it to Crime Stoppers.”

Ms Forrester said that if Canberrans arrive home and suspect that there is an intruder inside, they should not enter the home.

“Go to a safe place and cal the police, ensuring you keep out of sight and are a safe distance from your home.”

More home security tips can be found on the ACT Policing website. Crime Stoppers can be contacted on 1800 333 000 or online at act.crimestoppers.com.au.

Do you have any ‘tried and true’ methods for keeping your home safe and secure during the holidays? Share them in the comments below.

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