The countdown to Christmas is an exciting part of the year for most Australians, but it’s also a time to be extra vigilant. Criminals will be ready to exploit any lax Christmas security or changes to your routine and won’t think twice about ruining your Christmas.
In fact, tin previous years Victoria Police said it expected about 5,000 people to report crimes — such as home burglaries and cars being stolen or broken into — from mid-December to early January.
At National Protective Services our core business is keeping people, their family, colleagues, businesses and possessions safe and secure. Here’s some ways to reduce your security risks this Christmas.
Secure your home
Whether you are going away or just out and about socialising more than usual, make sure your house is kept safe and secure.
- Lock your doors! Police report that many thieves still gain access through front and back doors. Often there are no signs of forced entry, which means that these doors may not have even been locked. Use secure double locks and a locking screen door for added protection.
- If you’ve got CCTV or an alarm system, check that they are working. Sometimes a camera may be enough to deter a thief but best to make sure it works!
- Thieves breaking into homes typically target electronics, jewellery, cash and documents. They’ll also look out for car keys. Secure these items, hide them well or at least keep them out of sight.
- Secure gates and windows. If criminals can’t get through your doors, they will try the side gate to get to your backyard (and out of view) where they can work on a window. Sensor lights can also help deter thieves who prefer the cover of darkness.
- Overflowing mailboxes and bins left our are a sign that you’re not at home. Ask a neighbour or a friend to collect your mail and take your bin out if you are going away. Do the same for them.
- Make some light. Thieves prefer to work under the cover of darkness, so a sensor light that lights up the main access areas to your home can be an extra deterrent.
Home and business security cameras: If you really want to be able to keep an eye on your home and your business while you are away or just out and about this Christmas, then talk to us about the latest range of video cameras that let you view your home or business from your own device any time you want.
Protect your presents and possessions
Make sure your Christmas presents actually end up in with the person you are giving them to instead of in the hands of thieves.
- Don’t leave Christmas presents visible in your car, even if it’s just to stop off on the way home from shopping to grab some bread or milk.
- If you’ve bought a huge new TV, don’t leave the empty box out on the pavement or near the bins to advertise what you’ve got inside.
- Keep an eye on your belongings while packing up your car before going away. The most brazen thief will grab your gear from your vehicle as they walk past. Thieves have even been known to steal caravans from driveways!
- Take a non-branded bag to carry your smaller and valuable Christmas presents in while shopping. Bag-snatches will spot the branded carry bags of luxury goods – from jewellery to electronic devices – a mile off and make you a target.
- Be careful with presents visible in your house. Thieves looking through your windows will know that the big brown rectangle box under the tree with ‘Panasonic’ branding contains a shiny new flat screen TV.
Keep yourself safe
There are a lot of end-of-year celebrations and gatherings to enjoy during the Christmas period. If you are going out and staying late or having a drink, plan ahead and take extra care.
- If you are walking around at night after a few drinks, you are more likely to be a target for thieves and bag-snatches. Make sure you stick with a group of friends or get safe transport when moving between venues.
- Plan ahead for your transport. Know how you are going to get to the venue and home again. If you aren’t driving, check the public transport options close to the venue or arrange a taxi or lift with a friend.
- If you need cash for your function, make sure you have it ready before you go out to avoid withdrawing money from ATMs on the street.
- Try and leave the party or function with a friend or colleague.
- Let someone know you are on your way home so they know where you are and when to raise an alarm if you do not arrive home on time.
Sometimes it’s just that extra bit of safety consideration that can make all the difference between having an enjoyable festive period and one that you’d rather forget.