TIM DREW: Be safe this festive season

This being the first week of Advent and the season of goodwill, I hope that all those of you who are JRR Tolkein fans will not mind my borrowing a bit of “Lord of the Rings” imagery in a good cause.

While you will no doubt encounter many an elf in the stores, there will be at least as many goblins who will be out to enjoy a merry Christmas at your expense. The three main areas that they will target are as follows:

a) Car parks – when you are out shopping, do not leave your vehicles in car parks after you have filled them with your Christmas purchases. Some thieves hang around in car parks watching people load their cars and then leave them unattended when they go for further purchases – which is when the thieves strike. So please bear this in mind, and certainly never leave any valuables in your car where they can easily be seen. Also, remember that reversing close to an object such as a wall can make it more difficult for thieves to access your boot.

b) Sheds and garages – I mentioned last month that thefts from outbuildings was increasing. So, if you store your Christmas cheer in your garage or shed, please ensure that these buildings are securely locked (not forgetting the “Minder” alarm). Thieves know that we store our wines and beers in this way – and, every year, they help themselves.

c) Your home – many people leave their curtains open to display their decorated Christmas trees. Unfortunately, this allows passers-by to look into your front room where they can see presents displayed under the Christmas tree as well as anything else of value. Every year without fail, homes are burgled and presents stolen.

By taking a few precautions, you can substantially reduce the opportunities for those goblins to spoil your Christmas festivities. So please make sure that you do take them.