Crackdown on crime

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PEOPLE across Rugby are being urged to beat the burglar and crack crime this Christmas by following a few helpful hints.

A special advan is travelling round the borough encouraging people to spare a thought for their safety before they get carried away with their celebrations.

Cllr Derek Poole, deputy leader of Rugby Borough Council and chairman of the Community Safety Partnership, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but unfortunately for some people it leads to problems.

“We hope that by following our advice, and with a little bit of planning, the festive season can go with a bang rather than a whimper.

“We hope people across Rugby have a happy - and safe - Christmas, and a fantastic New Year.

Rugby’s Community Safety Partnership’s statistics show that December and January traditionally are a time of increased burglaries, with callous burglars often targeting presents wrapped up for the big day - so keep presents out of sight from the prying eyes of would-be thieves.

Make your home look occupied while you are out, leave some lights and a radio on or invest in timer switches, which can turn lights and radios on. And remember to turn off festive lights when unattended to avoid a fire.

And with all the festive candles and fires being lit, Christmas is also great time to check your smoke alarm or ask the Fire Service for a crucial home fire safety check.

December usually sees an increase in theft from motor vehicles, often where Christmas presents are stolen as well - so if out shopping try not to buy so many presents that you need to hide purchases in the car boot while you finish your shopping , and always take your sat nav system and mobile phone with you.

Ian King, of Warwickshire Police’s Community Protection Dept, said “Thieves know that people leave valuables in their cars so please try not to leave anything in your car that could tempt a thief to break in.

“At this time of year, thieves may linger in car parks watching people put things in the boot so they know which cars to target. Please be aware of other people in the car park and if you see anyone acting suspiciously around vehicles alert the car park security staff. If you see someone breaking into a vehicle call the police immediately.”

Do not flash your valuables - mobiles, MP3 players, and purses - Keep them out of sight and secure in your bag or pocket. Ask a Bid Ranger for a Purse bell.

Avoid advertising what you have had this Christmas to criminals, don’t leave the boxes outside you front door and take the boxes to Your local Household waste - disposal sites. if you get the chance. Remember to recycle your cardboard.

And of course, with all the parties and family get-togethers, people tend to drink more alcohol at this time of year, which can sometimes have unfortunate after-effects.

Domestic abuse often increases at this time of year, as families spend more time together and people consume more alcohol. For anyone suffering from emotional, financial physical or sexual abuse, they can visit the Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse website www.talk2someone.org.uk or call 0800 4081552 for help and support. In an emergency always dial 999.

For those who drink too much, Swanswell charitable trust are available to help and Rugby also has Street Pastors on patrol on Friday evenings in the town centre to offer direct help and support. The town centre is also covered by CCTV, monitored by the Business Improvement District (BID).

It is always wise to plan how you are going to get home after an evening’s celebrations, arrange to travel home with friends and only use minicabs that are licensed. If you have no choice but to walk alone at night, it is best not to take any shortcuts through dimly lit areas.

Don’t drink and drive, it’s not worth the risk.

Even at Christmas you don’t have tolerate anti social behaviour. To report it call our local community safety wardens on 0800 096800

Paul Collett Community Safety Project Officer, Warwickshire County Council, added: “Over the last few years crime has continued to fall, however, we do see an increase every year at Christmas. This campaign aims to help the residents and visitors of Rugby to have great Christmas and reduce the risk of being a victim of crime over the festive period.”