Police are appealing for local people to spare a thought for home security amid the many other priorities that they have at this time of year.
In recent years Christmas gifts have been among the items stolen by housebreakers and sneak-in thieves in the Dundee area, leaving some householders heartbroken and their festive plans in disarray.
Divisional Crime Prevention Officer, Colin Brough said: “Having the family home violated in this way is a horrible experience at any time of year, but is all the more heartbreaking at Christmas. Thieves and housebreakers are looking to exploit every opportunity over the festive season and have no regard for anyone’s feelings but their own.
“We want people to be able to enjoy this time of year without threat or fear of crime visiting them at home.
“By taking a few simple, commonsense measures we can all make life harder for the law-breakers, leaving everyone else to enjoy Christmas.
“Some of these crimes have taken place under the noses of those living at the address – while they have been at home, watching television, or in bed.
“It is essential that everyone in the family is security conscious and plays their part in making sure that their home is safe from opportunist thieves.
“Housebreaking is by its very nature an invasive crime and can be tremendously upsetting for those concerned, particularly at this time of year when there are many more valuable items in the home that have been lovingly chosen for family and friends at Christmas.
“Quite apart from the emotional impact and physical disruption that a break-in to the family home has, Government figures suggest that the average cost of a housebreaking to the householder is over £2,500. We are appealing to all householders and their families to help us to try to prevent these crimes from happening by making life more difficult for the criminal.
“Along with Community Safety Wardens, we will also continue with high profile police patrols in areas where incidents have taken place, to reassure the community and respond to any incidents as required.
“Many residents may receive an After Dark card through their door. They should consider the advice given and implement it to make their home secure.”
When you go out set timers on internal lights, lock all doors, windows, sheds, garages and other outbuildings, put away garden tools and ladders, set blinds or curtains to deter window shopping. Don’t drop your guard when at home either, as the same home security tips apply. Mark valuables with your post code and house number, check that your security lights are working. If you have an alarm – use it.
Please be a good neighbour and look out for the elderly or more vulnerable members of the community. Be vigilant. If you see something suspicious, contact the police immediately.
If you see a crime in progress please call 999 or if you have any information that may be useful contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222, or any police officer.