Horsham District Community Safety Partnership has released tips on how communities can keep their properties safe and secure this festive period.
Despite the town having one of the lowest crime rates in West Sussex the Partnership has warned members of the public to be aware of burglars particularly at this time of year when homes are unoccupied in the late afternoon and early evenings.
The following advice has been issued:
• When leaving the house unattended make sure all the windows and doors are locked, pay particular attention to those at the rear of the house. Don’t forget to lock the shed and garage too.
• Make the house look occupied by using automatic timer switches on indoor lights either upstairs or in a room that cannot be peered into from the street. Using a timer switch with a radio tuned to a talk station also gives the illusion that somebody is home.
• Burglars like the dark so an outside automated light can act as a good deterrent
• Make sure presents are kept out of sight and after presents have been opened, dispose of the boxes properly to ensure the contents of the house aren’t being advertised.
• Other tips include making sure that car keys are kept hidden out of sight and that keys to property aren’t left outside under a plant pot or door mat.
To help keep the whole of the street safe, residents can get involved with their local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
For more information about joining Neighbourhood Watch contact Sussex Police on 101.
Residents are being urged to report any suspicious callers or activity to Sussex Police via 101 or if they believe a crime is taking place via 999, giving as much information as possible.