There is no good time to be burgled . . .

It’s an awful experience, no matter the date on the calendar.

That said, some periods are more distressing than others for those unfortunate enough to find themselves targeted. The run up to Christmas is one such time.

Most intruders are opportunistic and the canniest out there understand that their chances are often greater during the Festive Season.

There are the darker afternoons and evenings that provide that all-important cover and disguise their ill-intended actions, for one thing. Then there is the surfeit of desirable goods that abound, gift-wrapped or otherwise. Factor in all the distractions that a typical household encounters in December and it becomes clear that, for thieves, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Recent figures have shown that, when Christmas comes around, there tends to be a dramatic rise in opportunistic crime. One major insurer suggests that, during the first week of December 2012, claims for stolen goods increased by 25 percent.

Here at William Channon, where crime prevention has long been our passion, we’re all determined to make a stand against Christmas crime.

To use a phrase that one UK police force has coined in recent days, don’t let burglars steal Christmas.
The police force in question (West Midlands) has gone as far as to produce an innovative animation, using Lego, in order to get the message across, while another (West Yorkshire) has released its own take on Silent Night, featuring officers singing a specially-composed crime-fighting version of the Christmas carol. Google it some time. It’s rather good.

Such gimmicks are great, but the bottom line is that common sense must be used and fundamental precautions taken.

That means making sure that doors and windows are adequately secured. It means that valuable items (Christmas presents or otherwise) are marked. It means gifts are not left in open sight, not stored near doors and windows and not arranged around the tree until Christmas Eve at the earliest. It means that locks should be engaged and alarms used. It means that timer switches should be set to dissuade those looking for the easiest targets. Doing everything possible to limit opportunities. Removing temptation. Not becoming so distracted that Christmas has to be cancelled.

No-one wants that but with one or two precautions and a little common sense, we can all be more secure in our homes during the coming days.

Need further advice? Give us a call, we’ll be delighted to dispense it. Christmas is all about giving, after all. That it can also be about taking is something that we’re determined to underline, because awareness and understanding is imperative at this time of year.

Don’t let burglars steal Christmas. Have a fabulous Festive Season.