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Christmas crime warning in Stroud after spate of burglaries

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

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Stroud District Council neighbourhood wardens and police community support officers will be in Stroud to remind residents about home security in the run-up to Christmas.

Officers will be available at Merrywalks Shopping Centre and on the Subscription Rooms forecourt to provide information and advice on how to keep properties safe and secure from burglars. Many burglaries committed in Stroud are carried out at insecure properties where people have left a door or window unlocked. The Police and the council want to drive home the message that something as simple as locking a door, and closing and securing a window - even when at home - could help prevent a burglary.

Stroud District Council's community safety manager, Paul Helbrow, said:

'Burglaries increase at this time of the year and over the past few days we have seen a spate of burglaries across the district with many crimes committed at insecure properties. With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, thieves know homes will be filled with expensive gifts and will be on the lookout for unlocked doors and windows, gifts on display under the Christmas tree and houses left in darkness. By taking the most simple, basic steps to protect your belongings, you can stop a thief from ruining your Christmas.'

Inspector Kirk Harrison of Gloucestershire Police added:

'Investing in security upgrades is worthwhile however making your home uninviting to burglars doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend money. Burglary can mean much more to victims than the loss of possessions. It can leave them feeling scared, violated and vulnerable. If items are not insured, it can also lead to financial as well as emotional strain – which no one wants at Christmas.'

Basic tips include:

• shutting and locking windows and doors

• making sure your house looks occupied by using lights and radios on timers

• having outside lights

• keeping all valuable items out of sight

• shutting and lock side gates

• securing sheds and garages

• installing a good burglar alarm

The PCSO's and neighbourhood wardens will be available to give out advice at the following locations and times:

Merrywalks Shopping Centre

Tuesday 11 December – 11am to 1pm

Thursday 13 December – 11am to 1pm

Tues 18 December – 11am to 1pm

Thurs 20 December – 11am to 1pm

Subscription Rooms forecourt

Saturday 15 December  - 11am to 1pm

Inspector Harrison added:

'We would remind the community to contact Police immediately if they see anything at all suspicious in their neighbourhood. We would much rather receive calls of suspicious circumstances that turn out to be legitimate than miss the chance to prevent someone from becoming a victim or catch an offender.'

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