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Your holiday snaps are a gift to burglars, warn police

By David Young

Burglars are having empty houses advertised to them by the growing trend of posting holiday snaps online, a PSNI commander warned.

House breakers can take advantage of publicly accessible photos to decide which property to target, Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said.

Mr Walls highlighted the risks of using social media when away from home, as he revealed that police made 224 arrests in three targeted burglary crackdowns in 2016.

A total of 160 people were subsequently charged or reported to prosecutors on the back of 317 searches.

Overall, burglaries here have fallen in the last five years. Mr Walls said that as well as traditional steps to physically secure properties, such as locking windows and doors, homeowners increasingly had to be aware of taking precautions in cyberspace as well.

"So many people live their lives on social media and it's like 'I'm away to America for three weeks' and people don't always know the reach of that post and all you are doing is advertising your house is empty," he said.

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