Going on a summer holiday? Take these crime prevention steps

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Police in Mid and East Antrim are asking people to think about crime prevention during the summer holidays.

With many people heading away, police will proactive over the summer months and keep an eye out for suspicious activity but are also asking for support from the local community to help protect them from becoming a victim of crime.

Superintendent Ryan Henderson explained: “If you are lucky enough to be getting away this summer, please remember to take a few crime prevention measures before you go.

“Simple things like cutting the grass, cancelling the milk and newspapers and using time switches to turn on lights that would ordinarily be on in the house help to give your home that lived-in look and remember to set the burglar alarm as well.

“You should also arrange for a responsible person to collect your mail, particularly if you have a glass front door, as people are able to see it pile up on the mat. Outside, ladders and tools should be locked away so that criminals cannot use them to break into your house. Sheds must have suitable door locks and the contents should be security marked against theft and should be secured separately within the shed which will make them more difficult to steal.”

Superintendent Henderson also called on all members of the community to be vigilant.

He continued: “Good neighbours are important, and if criminals know their every move is being watched, it is much harder for them to operate unnoticed. You are in the best position to know what is ordinary and what is out of the ordinary where you live, so tell police what you have seen. Reporting all suspicious activity promptly to the police is important and we welcome the opportunity to check out all reports of suspicious activity.

“And for those not heading away, we all know that in good weather, people enjoy spending more time out in their gardens. It is always tempting to leave doors and windows open on hot days, but sadly this is exactly what opportunist criminals are looking out for - you in the garden and easy access to your belongings. Make sure your house and garage are kept closed and locked when left unattended and do not leave any valuables in your vehicle.

“Remember that some people are also quite prepared to enter your house and steal what comes quickly to hand. To reduce the likelihood of this type of crime taking place, car keys, handbags and wallets should not be left where they can easily be seen or found, or within easy reach of an open window. Put them away properly in a safe place and if you have a burglar alarm set it.”

Anyone who would like crime prevention advice on this or any other subject can contact their nearest Crime Prevention Officer by telephoning 101, the police non-emergency number.