Don't send burglars an invite

THE festive season is a great time of year for families to enjoy the holidays.

Unfortunately it can also provide perfect opportunities for criminals

Police encourage us to safeguard properties before going away.

Detective Inspector Dean Johnstone, the crime manager for Liverpool police, said burglaries were common during December and January.

Last year there were 48 recorded break and enters in December and 84 in January.

Detective Inspector Johnstone said burglars looked for "tell-tale signs" to determine if occupants were inside a house.

"Try to make the house look like it's lived in," he said.

"Get a trusted neighbours or friends to collect junk mail off your front lawns.

"Ask a friend to house sit or ask someone to park their car in your driveway."

Detective Inspector Johnstone said there would be more police patrols, but it was important for residents to do their bit.

"It's an opportunity for offenders to break in when people go away to enjoy the Christmas and January break," he said.

"Don't leave garden tools or ladders around the house. This could make it easier for offenders to gain access into your house.

"We are tasking crews to patrol all areas but at this time of year everyone knows that there's going to be Christmas presents in houses."

Detective Inspector Johnstone offered the following simple tips to make your home less attractive to would-be thieves:

■ Lock all doors and windows;

■ Don't leave holiday messages on answering machines;

■ Avoid references on social media about being away;

■ Get trusted friends or family members to mind valuables and spare keys;

■ Ask someone to mow the lawns and empty the bins; and

■ Make sure that you are contactable.

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