Belfast Telegraph

Help us make Christmas safer: PSNI

Police in Castlereagh have set themselves three priorities this Christmas — to keep people safe in their homes, when out socialising and on the roads.

Police will be deploying high-visibility patrols — in cars, on bikes and on foot — in key hot-spot areas to prevent crime and reassure householders, shoppers, revellers and motorists.

Castlereagh Area Commander, Chief Inspector Derek Martin, said it was vital that people assisted police in ensuring a crime-free Christmas.

“The fact is that nearly 40% of all burglaries are committed through unlocked doors and windows, so householders themselves can help by ensuring that precious presents for their loved ones and other treasured possessions do not fall prey to heartless, opportunistic burglars,” he said. “Do not leave any presents lying around in plain sight where they can easily be spotted. Often the shape and size of a wrapped present tells a potential thief all they need to know about its contents.”

Chief Inspector Martin said police had been working closely with Belfast City Council and the Belfast Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the ‘Get Home Safe’ campaign, which involves night-time high visibility patrols, would help keep party-goers out of trouble.

Councillor Brian Hanvey, Chair of the Castlereagh District Policing Partnership, added: “In addition to the many police measures in place, we would urge people to be vigilant and remember that this is also a time of opportunity for criminals. I would remind people to lock all doors and windows and move valuables out of sight, particularly presents under the Christmas tree. Don’t let criminals cash in on Christmas.

“We know from what the community tell us, particularly those who are vulnerable, that there is a fear of burglary out there. The police response is just one part of dealing with this crime and we all have a responsibility to minimise the opportunity for burglars.”

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