Police advice ahead of holidays

by Mike Isle

Canterbury Police is focussing on reducing burglary and is calling the public to assist. They say there have been 11 burglars arrested during the past two weeks, eight of whom have been held in custody.

Area prevention manager acting inspector, Paul Reeves, urges common sense when it comes to deterring burglars looking for an easy target over the summer months: lock houses and cars, close windows and leave valuables out of sight.

“People do need to take a bit more ownership of their own security and think about how they can make it harder on the criminal.”

Deadlocks on windows and doors can be effective, security signage, CCTV, alarms and sensor lights will also clearly discourage any burglar looking for easy entry, he said.

He also suggests that, if away, have a trusted friend or neighbour clear your mailbox and open/close curtains from time to time.

“If you plan to be out of town for a week or two, book someone to mow the lawn and set up basic automated lighting to mimic normal household use.

“Essentially, do what you can to try and make your place appear as though you are not away on holiday.

“I’d also recommend joining a Neighbourhood Support group, or creating one, whether you are in town or country. If your neighbour is away and you see something that doesn’t look right, don’t delay — call 111.”

Inspector Reeves said the key message is to call the police straight away if you suspect anything suspicious.

“It is frustrating for us to hear about an incident when it’s too late to catch anyone at the scene. At the very least, if there’s a vehicle involved, I’d urge people to record the number plate.”

According to police, items targeted by burglars commonly include laptops and computers, TVs, jewellery, wallets/cash, work tools and other portable high-value items.
Police recommend photographing valuables and engrave them (with your driver’s licence number) and recording serial numbers, so after a burglary, the job of 
tracking down property is made a little easier.

Also recommended is adding a name and phone number to electronic items using a UV marker.

Neighbourhood Support provide warning stickers to put on windows as a deterrent, and you can create and store an asset list of property serial numbers through a police website called SNAP: snap.org.nz.