Secure your home before going on holiday
Householders across Hartlepool are being urged to take steps to secure their homes before heading off on holiday.
The appeal has been issued by the Hartlepool Community Safety Team ahead of the big summer getaway.
Victim Services Officer Jane Munden has issued a series of tips for how people can secure their homes and reduce the risk of being targeted by thieves and burglars.
"With a bit of forward planning and by taking some fairly simple and straightforward precautions householders can reduce the risk of becoming victims of crime," she said.
Jane's advice is to:
- Never advertise on social media that you are away on holiday.
- Tell a trusted neighbour, friend or family member that you are going away and ask them to collect mail, open/close curtains and bring in bins. Also ask them to park their car on your driveway.
- Set light timers and even consider using simulated TVs to come on in the evening.
- Make sure all doors, windows and gates are locked and secure. Remember to remove keys and keep them in a safe place.
- Remember to set your intruder alarm. If you don't have an alarm consider getting one from an approved company. Go to www.nsi.org.uk to find approved companies in your area.
- Cancel any deliveries you get and consider using the Keepsafe service operated by Royal Mail. For a small charge they will hold onto your mail.
- Make sure your property is covered by both buildings and contents insurance. Register your valuables online at www.immobilise.com and remember to hide valuables such as jewellery and important documents in your home, using, for example, a safe.
- Don't forget to check your garden before leaving and put away any gardening equipment, other tools and ladders which could be used by someone to break into your home.
- Consider joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme or start your own if there isn't already one in existence. Visit www.ourwatch.org.uk and enter your postcode to see if there is a scheme in your area.
Anyone who knows anything about a crime or spots anyone acting suspiciously in the vicinity of a property can contact Cleveland Police on 101 or they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency, always call 999.