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Cotswolds And Stroud Police Issue Seasonal Warning
Police in the Cotswolds and Stroud Division are taking an early opportunity to urge the public to help them reduce the opportunities for crime created by the Christmas season.
Criminals are quick to exploit any slackening of security, so officers are calling on homeowners, proprietors of commercial properties, party goers and vehicle owners to keep their guard up.
APS Mark Godsland, Crime Reduction Officer for the Cotswolds, urged the public to take a few simple precautions to protect their personal property during the festive season, and prevent homes, businesses and cars from being broken into.
"Although Christmas is the holiday season for many of us, it's important for people to remember that thieves do not take time off," he said.
"At home people should ensure doors and windows are kept locked, and that presents aren't put out under the tree until the last minute. Leaving gifts out for several days may look pretty, but they could prove tempting to a burglar who happens to look through the window.
"When out celebrating Christmas the public should remember to take greater care of personal items, such as purses, wallets and mobile phones. At this time of year police traditionally receive large numbers of reports from people who have had such items stolen while attending parties, pubs, clubs and restaurants.
"Party-goers should also remember not to drink and drive this Christmas. They should either have a designated driver who does not drink, or arrange for a lift or taxi to pick them up at the end of the night."
Car crime is also a problem at Christmas, particularly at popular beauty spots around the county where people go to walk off festive excess, or in town when shoppers leave unwrapped presents in their cars.
"At this time of year criminals visit car parks across the county with the intention of stealing any items left on display inside unattended vehicles," said PC Godsland.
"We would advise drivers to leave nothing on display in their car when they park up - leaving high value, easily removable items on display is just asking for trouble."
PC Godsland urged shopkeepers to do their bit to reduce crime at Christmas by checking and maintaining their security arrangements.
"Proprietors should be aware that their building, and its contents, are at risk from burglary, theft, criminal damage and arson," he said.
"A realistic appreciation of these facts, and their potential consequences, is essential if traders are to adopt and employ effective standards of security.
"A successful raid on retail premises is likely to result in the loss of stock and equipment, and disruption to normal trading - particularly during the Christmas period."
: 15/11/2006 17:42:17
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