Don’t leave gifts and valuables on display this Christmas

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The council’s Safer Neighbourhoods team has joined forces with Humberside Police to warn people about the dangers of leaving gifts and valuables on display this Christmas.

The festive season is an ideal time for opportunistic thieves to take items from vehicles and homes. Gifts and valuables are particularly tempting when they are on display on car seats or through windows at home. Be extra vigilant this festive season and double check doors and windows are locked, even if you are nearby, in the house, or only away from your vehicle or home for a few minutes.

Since 1 April to 22 November this year, the number of thefts from motor vehicles (TFMV) has increased to 483, from 415 during the same period in 2015. This is an increase of over 16 per cent. The crime is more prevalent in built up areas, with 313 reported in urban areas compared to 170 in rural areas during the time period.

We want to ensure this doesn’t happen and are encouraging people to keep gifts and valuable items safe and hidden away from thieves. Even low value, wrapped gifts are tempting because thieves may believe there is a valuable gift wrapped inside.

It is advised that you:

  • Lock all doors and close windows
  • Don’t leave anything on display
  • Remove the stereo from your vehicle (if you have a portable one)
  • Remove Sat Nav devices and wipe away marks
  • Never store car documents in your car
  • Use a steering lock to help secure older cars
  • Park in well-lit areas (where possible)
  • Use your secure garage (if you have one) to park your car
  • Keep your house doors locked and car keys out of sight when at home

Cllr Richard Hannigan, cabinet member for Governance and Transformation, said:

Don’t make it easy for thieves to steal your items by putting them on display in vehicles. Make sure you keep your valuables hidden, vehicles locked and windows closed. If you follow these steps it will help make sure your vehicle is safe

Most thieves are opportunists who are looking for a quick steal. Some do not like to draw attention by smashing a window, but if items are on display, they will check door handles until they find one unlocked. Reports show that over 50 per cent of thefts from vehicles occur when valuable items are on display. This crime is just as likely to happen during the day as at night

We are all more relaxed when we are at home and thieves may rely on this. It only takes a few seconds to grab valuables or gifts. Don’t let thieves ruin your Christmas. Lock your gifts and valuables out of sight.

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