Message sent by
Steve Birchall (Police, Detective   Sergeant, Banbury L/CID, Cherwell LPA)

I recently sent some crime prevention advice out about the lead up to Christmas with small things you can do such as:

Don’t leave packaging for expensive items out for refuse collection obviously on show.

Don’t leave Christmas presents in sight through a window.

Don’t advertise you not being at home over Christmas on social media and don’t tag yourself at locations away from your home.

and  mark packaging and Christmas presents so we can attempt to recover and identify them should they be stolen.

I have managed to obtain some UV marker pens and will have them placed at the front offices of police stations in our area.  Please go into your local station and ask for a UV marker.

What I would like you to do is mark the boxes of your Christmas presents with your post code.  Also, after you have wrapped your Christmas gifts up mark the wrapping again with your post code.  Once these markings have dried they are virtually invisible but if we recover new boxed items or wrapping paper during a search we can identify them as coming from your house if you have been burgled.  If we can do this we are able to firstly prosecute an offender and most importantly recover your gifts and return them to you.

After Christmas day, please take the opportunity, if you have a UV marker to also mark your new items in the same way.  Burglars don’t stop committing offences after Christmas and they will know we all have new and expensive items in our homes after Christmas.

If you are one of the lucky ones this year to receive an IPAD, IPHONE or IPOD or other hand held device or a laptop at Christmas, when you are setting it up please consider activating the often free GPS tracking systems that come as part of the package.

Should they be lost or stolen they assist us in locating and recovering them.  Also register your products with the company and take pictures of them and any jewellery you may receive.

Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house if your are away, park a car on your drive and turn your lights on.

Also, as we are all stocking up for Christmas be careful when you are unloading your car at home.  It is not unheard of for criminals to steal items from your car as you are unloading your shopping.

We also are now in a period of the year when it is a necessity to de-ice our cars.  Stay in the vicinity of your car and keep your eye on it if you have unlocked it and started the engine.  A chancer may steal it.

Steve Birchall
DS 4708