Hartlepool Community Safety Team says that 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.
The team’s advice is:
*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;
*Consider getting an alarm from an approved company. Go to www.nsi.org.uk to find approved companies;
*Cancel any deliveries you get and consider using the Keepsafe service operated by Royal Mail;
*Consider joining the 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.
People are also being urged to report any suspicious behaviour to Cleveland Police if they notice someone at the home of a neighbour they know to be away on holiday.
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.