BurglaryWarning Over Festive Period

22 December 2017, 11:38 | Updated: 22 December 2017, 12:09

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Kent Police are reminding residents to stay vigilant during the festive season.

The force says criminals use this time of year when many people are out celebrating with friends and families as an opportunity to burgle empty houses and steal expensive gifts and other items. 

We are being reminded to make sure their windows and doors are kept locked and curtains are drawn so would-be thieves do not have an easy view into someone’s house.

After the festive season empty boxes are a good indication to thieves as to what presents people received and what maybe inside a home so it is a good idea to wait a while until putting out the boxes for recycling or residents can take them to a refuse site instead.

Officers would also like to encourage people to look out for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours as well as friends and family.

Detective Inspector Lopa McDermott who works for the Criminal Investigation Department in Medway, says: "Criminals use any opportunities they can in order to get their hands onto other people’s property. It is easy to become complacent during the festive season but I would encourage residents to ensure their properties are secure and that their gifts are out of view.

"Social media is another way people showcase their new presents, which can identify to people what is within their home and also when homeowners are out of their house, so again I would urge caution as to what people post on their social media feeds."

Top tips for Christmas safety

• Keep doors and windows locked and curtains drawn at night – invest in light timers so people appear to be at home when they may not be. Leaving TVs and radios on is also a good idea.

• Do not leave empty boxes outside your home for long periods of time – put the recycling out when your collection is due, or if you can, take the boxes to a refuse site yourself.

• When out during the festive period ensure you do not walk home alone or take a taxi home alone - always stay with others and ensure your phone is charged before heading out.

• Do not accept drinks from strangers – it is easy to get caught up in the festive spirit but be aware of others around you and always stay with our friends or family.