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Dorset Police is appealing to the public to assist them in their campaign to Bag a Burglar as the festive season begins.
Burglary tends to increase over the Christmas period which means it is even more important for the public to take simple steps to make them less likely to become victims of this crime.
Making sure all windows and doors are locked when people leave their homes, setting an alarm where possible and not leaving valuables and Christmas presents on display could all help to reduce the chances of homes being burgled.
Also, garages and sheds should be locked securely as valuable items are often left inside them.
Detective Inspector Michael Mullen said:
“As well as taking simple steps to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of burglary, I’d like to ask the public to assist us in our efforts to catch burglars over this festive season.
“If you see anything suspicious or, more specifically, a suspicious person in the area please call us immediately.
“The more information you can provide us with, the better the chances are of us catching the offender.
“Burglary rates tend to rise over the Christmas period, so it’s very important that the public make sure they do everything they can to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of this crime.
“Don’t leave valuables or presents on display when you leave your home and make sure you use good quality locks and alarms to secure your property when you go out.”
It is also important that the public are on their guard against distraction burglaries at this time of year.
Residents should never let anyone into their homes unless they are completely satisfied that the person they are letting in is genuine.
Detective Inspector Mullen continued:
“The public need to be on their guard against distraction burglary, particularly older members of our community, as distraction burglars often target the properties of elderly people
“Don’t let anyone into your home if you’re not sure who they are. Don’t be intimidated into paying for services on your doorstep, and don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t want the services that a doorstep seller is offering you
“Do not hesitate to contact the police if you feel threatened or if you suspect that you have been targeted by a distraction burglar.”
Those members of the community that leave properties empty over the festive period also need to make sure that they take simple measures to reduce the likelihood of returning to their property after Christmas to find it has been burgled.
Detective Inspector Mullen explained that this is a particular issue for students. He said:
“A lot of students return home over the Christmas holidays and leave their student housing empty.
“Students should, where possible, leave no valuables behind when they return home for the holidays and they should make sure that they leave their property as securely locked as possible.
“Double check your property before you leave to make sure nothing is left on display and that all windows and doors are locked securely.”
If a crime is taking place please dial 999 and report it immediately. The public can also contact Dorset Police on 01202 or 01305 22 22 22, or they can call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.