Home owners are being given crime prevention tips to make sure they don’t fall victim to crime this Christmas.
At this time of year, expensive presents are starting to be placed around trees – and can prove tempting to passing thieves. Opportunist thieves may take every opportunity to take advantage of a careless act, like your front door being left unlocked while you're upstairs - and take what they can.
Crime prevention officer Jan Brown, Lancashire Police, said: “Having bought all those wonderful presents, don't make it easy for someone to steal from your home.
“Keep them out of sight until last thing on Christmas Eve and if you 'hide' or store larger items such as bicycles in the shed or outbuildings, make sure they are very secure.”
Other tips for beating the burglars and keeping your home safe...
• Take the frame numbers of new cycles and the serial numbers of new electrical equipment for future reference. Remember, empty boxes left outside advertise that you have new goods inside - dispose of packing carefully.
• If you go out for the evening - make it look like someone is at home by turning on lights and the radio. Don't leave curtains open so people can see your decorations as potential thieves can see in.
• Be extra careful about locking doors and windows.
• As a fire precaution, don't leave Christmas lights on in the house whilst you are out.
• If you go away for the holiday period, use an automatic timer for lights and ask a trusted neighbour to watch your home.
• Don't forget to cancel newspapers and milk if you have them delivered and either redirect your mail through the Post Office or have your neighbour take mail into the house - unopened Christmas cards and mail are a sure sign that a house is empty.