‘Tis the season to be safe and secure

Police are warning residents of Dubbo to be vigilant with home security in the lead-up to the Christmas holiday period.

Last December there were 83 reported break-and-enters at homes within Orana Local Area Command, and while statistics for 2017 are down greatly on those recorded in 2016, Acting Superintendent Scott Tanner said that isn’t a reason to get complacent.

He believes the Christmas period provides greater chances for opportunistic crime to take place, meaning residents need to lock up and be ultra cautious.

“We’ve had a good year this year but the fact is there’s a greater risk at this time of year,” Act Supt Tanner said.

“The usual need to lock-up still applies, even if you are at home, but because people do tend to go away on holidays its about making sure you have people to keep an eye on your house.

“The first and most basic thing is to not put on an open forum that you’re going away. Crooks read Facebook too, so by all means tell friends and family but don’t broadcast it where other people can see on social media.

“The key is to do anything to make it look like the house is occupied. Get your mail collected, if you can set a timer for your television to come on then do that.

“And make sure that trees and shrubs are cut back and don’t allow a spot for crooks to hide.”

“If you are at home and having some drinks or a barbecue out the back of your house, make sure the droo and windows at the front are locked.”

Another service that people can take advantage of is the vacant property register offered by the NSW Police Force.

By telling police of your plans to be away from home, random patrols can be organised during the day-to-day operations conducted by police.

“We’re not a private security firm but what we can do is include the properties we know are vacant in our taskings and if we see people around, we know something is up,” Act Supt Tanner said.