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Burglary rates increase by 11% on average during January. As the dark nights draw in, people should remain vigilant to reduce the chances of their property being targeted this winter.

When are you most likely to be a victim of burglary?

  • Whenever you’re away from home.
  • When you’re home but busy or asleep.
  • After Christmas when criminals know you have new and expensive presents in the house.

Burglars love the dark so follow these tips to keep your home safe:

  • Burglars tend to be opportunists and they will look out for certain things to indicate if a home is empty. For a penny a day you can leave a low energy light bulb on mid-afternoon to late evening. Use a timer switch to help manage when the light comes on.
  • Always close your curtains at night, and store valuable items (including Christmas presents, passports, driving licence, cash, wallets and bank statements) out of view.
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away – don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home.
  • Keep your doors and windows locked, and ensure you have the back door locked when answering the front door. Don’t give someone the chance to sneak in while you are distracted.
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition and that access to the rear of your property is secure – lock your garden gate.
  • Consider installing outside security lighting.
  • Break up packaging for electrical goods (TVs, laptops etc.) and put it all in your recycling box. Leaving it outside will alert a burglar to your new purchase.

Below, we have picked some specific safety advice which is particularly important during the winter months.

Christmas tips...

This period is a busy time of year and that’s why it can be easy to forget the simple things that can help stop us becoming a victim of crime. If you’re struggling for an idea for a small gift this year or are taking part in a ‘Secret Santa’ then why not consider buying one of the devices Greater Manchester Police show on their 60 Second Security videos? Stopping a crime, or reducing the chances, might just be the best present you ever gave!

Here’s a little reminder of some of the key security tips at Christmas Time.


If you're lucky enough to be able to go on holiday, either in the UK or abroad, we’re sure you'll enjoy your break far more if you're not worrying about becoming a victim of crime. So here are a few simple pointers on how to prepare and reduce the chances of coming home to something horrible like a burglary.

Take a look...

Bogus callers

Bogus callers come in different guises. Usually they want to try and trick you, to get into your home to steal. They may say they are from the water board, council, police or even a child wanting a ball back. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.

Watch this video for more advice.

Individual fraud

Individual frauds can include:

• Abuse of position of trust
• Advance fee frauds
• Bogus tradesmen fraud
• Goods sold as investment
• Holiday club fraud
• Insurance broker scams
• Internet dialler scam
• Land banking scams
• Miracle health scams
• Pension liberation scams
• Phishing email scams
• Ponzi schemes
• Premium rate phone fraud
• Property investor scams
• Pyramid schemes
• Share sale fraud
• Shopping and auction fraud
• Timeshare fraud

For help and advice from visit Action Fraud's website.

Alternatively, for Age UK’s advice regarding scams and fraud CLICK HERE.

What to do if you are a victim of a crime

  • Report the incident to the police.
  • Try to recall as much as possible about the event and details of the people involved; take the name and address of any witnesses.
  • If a car was involved, try to note its details such as colour, make and registration number.
  • List any missing items.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Change your locks if your keys have been taken; check if your insurance will cover this cost.
  • If your cards have been stolen, call your bank or credit card company as soon as possible - the number will be on your statement.

Contacts and further advice:

In case of an emergency always dial 999.

For Police non-emergencies dial 101.

If you have been a victim of crime you can speak to Victim Support for free. For confidential advice and support telephone 0808 16 89 111 or visit

To speak to someone anonymously about crime, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit