Banbury burglaries spark advice on how to ward off thieves over Christmas

Police are appealing for witnesses to the theft
Police are appealing for witnesses to the theft

Advice on how to ward off thieves over the festive period has been released after ‘a number of’ burglaries in Banbury overnight.

Banbury police community support officer Stephen Birchall sent out an alert this morning (Wednesday, December 5) urging people to be vigilant after the thefts.

The message says there were numerous burglaries in the Browning Road and Waterloo Drive areas yesterday evening and through the night.

Anyone who saw, heard or knows anything that may help with the investigations is strongly advised to ring 101.

“Christmas and New Year is traditionally a time when burglary increases in the Thames Valley and across the country,” PCSO Birchall’s message continues.

“By taking a proactive approach to home security, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim, while helping to protect others, to build local resilience against burglary.”

The advice for people celebrating Christmas at home:

• Don’t leave presents on view under the Christmas tree.

• Cut up packaging for any expensive items so that it will fit inside your refuse bin, never leave boxes next to the bin where they can be seen.

• Refrain from posting photos of high value presents, such as jewellery or electronics, on social media.

• Remember to mark your new presents using a UV pen and register them on the national property register at www.immobilise.com.

And for those who are going away:

• Make your home appear occupied.

• Ask a trusted person to look after your home by pulling the curtains at night and putting your bin out on collection day. Remind them to put the bin away again once it has been collected.

• Invite a neighbour to park on your drive while you are away.

• Light up your living room using timer switch. A TV simulator can also be used to make give the appearance of a TV screen being used.

• Double check that you have locked your windows and doors before leaving.

• Never advertise on social media that you are away from home, as thieves can gather intelligence and some home insurance policies may become invalidated.

More burglary crime prevention advice can be found on the Thames Valley Police website: www.thamesvalley.police.uk/burglary.