Look after your valuables during the festive season

Tayside Police are reminding householders to consider the importance of home security, particularly during the hours of darkness over the Christmas and New Year period.

In the past week, there have been four sneak-in thefts and three break-ins within the Tayside area, highlighting the need for communities to be aware of the steps they can take to secure their properties and the assistance that they can provide to their neighbours.

Recently it appears that insecure doors and windows have been the common theme in the crimes reported to police.

As part of the on-going After Dark campaign, officers are providing information and advice to residents to enable them to deter opportunistic thieves.

Divisional Crime Prevention Officer, Colin Brough said: “We know that people have any number of things on their to-do lists in the run up to the festive period but I would ask them to make sure that their home and their personal safety are kept high on the agenda.

“Apply the simple crime prevention measures at home, such as locking their front and back doors, as well as windows, even when at home and especially overnight.

“Be a good neighbour and look out for any suspicious activity within your community. Look out for other people living around you, particularly older or vulnerable neighbours.

“Tell the police immediately if you have any reason to be suspicious about any persons or vehicles. Along with community safety wardens, our officers are carrying out high visibility patrols across the area, particularly after dark.

“They will respond to ongoing incidents and react to information passed to them by the public.

“Tayside Police also advise householders to leave a light on if they are unlikely to be home before dark, or use a timer switch to ensure that the lights come on as dusk falls.

“Tools and ladders and even garden furniture should also be put away and never left out for thieves to steal, or even use to commit crime.

“For home security residents should:

1. Ensure that keys are not left within door locks.

2. If they have a house alarm - use it. If not, consider having one fitted.

3. It is important that a home looks occupied even if no one is home. Consider buying timer devices for lights if the house is going to be unoccupied during hours of darkness.

4. Mark all valuables with a UV pen with the relevant post code and house number. If stolen items are recovered by the Police, it is much easier to return them to the owner if this has been done.”

Anyone living in the Dundee area who requires further crime prevention advice should call the divisional Crime Prevention Office on (01382) 591887 or Dundee Community Safety Wardens on (01382) 436333.

Anyone who sees any suspicious activity in their community, or who has any information that could assist the police should call 0300 111 2222, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Anyone who sees a crime in progress should call 999 immediately.