Preventing burglaries during holidays

REGION - With the summer holiday period nearly upon us, Victoria Police believe it is timely to deliver crime prevention reminders to all members of the communities.

Thefts from homes, businesses and rural properties may be avoided simply by taking adequate precautions.

"There are two elements necessary for a crime to occur, the offender and the opportunity. We can reduce the opportunity by planning beforehand," Western Division 4 crime prevention officer Leading Senior Constable Eddy MacDonald, said.

Before going on holiday or being away from the home, consider the following:

Appearances: Make it look like someone is home. Arrange a house sitter or ask a trusted neighbour for help.

Lock all doors and windows.

Improve the security of your home or business.

Secure valuables by keeping them in a safe place, businesses should remove all cash and secure valuables, sports clubs should remove all alcohol and confectionary for sale and secure valuables.

The following hints are also helpful:

Put a stop to your mail or ensure it is collected regularly and not overflowing in your letterbox, put a lock on your letter box to prevent identity theft, cancel newspaper deliveries.

Arrange for a neighbour or friend to take your bins out and in. Ask them to occasionally park their car in your driveway.

Do not leave spare keys in the house or business to any car parked on the property. Do not leave keys to the home or business outside.

Arrange for the lawns to be maintained, trim shrubs around the home or business to make it harder for burglars to hide and if you have a land line phone turn down the volume, set up lights on a timer and install motion activated external lighting. If you have fencing, check that no animals can roam from the property.

Lock away tools and other items such as ladders which could be used to gain forced entry. Ensure all flammables and fuels are secured. Lock your garage or shedding. Remove batteries or starter motors from farm machinery.

Use an engraver to mark your valuable items, use your driver's licence number prefixed by the first letter of the State it is issued from. Photograph valuables and record details of property so that police may identify your property should it be stolen and recovered.

Place used packaging from expensive items away from the nature strip, do not advertise what is in the home or business.

Be doubly sure that firearms are properly secured.

Be careful when posting holiday plans on social media, don't advertise you will be away.

Fill out an 'Absence From Residence' form at your local Police Station.

Being the victim of a crime has a profound impact on a person, we all have the responsibility to make our communities safe, however, the safety of yourself and others is more important than trying to prevent a burglary. Should you see something suspicious in your neighbourhood or area call your local police or contact crime stoppers on 1800 333 000,

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