Richmondshire police issue Christmas safety message

Richmondshire Neighbourhood Police team with a MOD Police Dog Handler and Police Dog Oscar

Local police are taking festive safety messages into the heart of North Yorkshire’s communities this Christmas.

Officers, PCSOs and volunteers from Richmondshire Neighbourhood Policing Team will be on duty throughout the Christmas period, hosting drop-in sessions and carrying out high-visibility patrols.

They’re also asking residents to play their part in keeping everyone safe, by following crime prevention and home security advice, and checking on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.

Inspector Mark Gee, of Richmondshire Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Neighbourhood policing is a key part of what we do at North Yorkshire Police. Having our dedicated officers, PCSOs and volunteers working in the heart of our communities helps us support and keep people safe all year round.

“This is particularly important at Christmas, which can be a difficult time of year for those who may have little or no family support. We will be working hard to keep vulnerable people safe, and I know that the local community will come together and support them too.

“I’d also like to emphasise the importance of keeping your home and property secure. This may not be the jolliest of Christmas messages, but it’s one that I would like everyone to follow: spend a few minutes now checking your home security to reduce your risk. Being a victim of burglary can be devastating and have a life-long impact on individuals and whole families.

“The more people who take this advice on board, alongside our ongoing proactive policing operations to catch and disrupt offenders in our area, the safer we will become and actually feel in our own homes.

“On a lighter note, on behalf of the whole team, I’d like to wish all our residents a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year. We’ll be here for you, so call us if you need us, and stop for a chat if you see us!”

Residents are urged to follow this Christmas crime prevention advice:

* Lock all windows and doors – it’s an obvious one, but it’s worth reinforcing this most basic of crime prevention measures
* Always secure garages, outbuildings, sheds and gates
* Fit security lighting in your garden – remember, criminals hate being seen
* Keep Christmas presents, valuable items and car keys out of sight and out of reach
* Use timer switches to turn lights on while you are out – a well-lit home gives the impression that someone is in
* Don’t leave curtains closed during the day, only in the evening and overnight
* Contact your local officers to arrange dot peen property marking free of charge. If items are lost or stolen, this helps the police identify its rightful owner and provide evidence vital in securing prosecutions
* Photograph those expensive gifts, and register them free of charge at www.immobilise.com
* Always report suspicious activity to the police by calling 101 for non-emergencies
* In an emergency if a crime is in progress or you feel threatened, always dial 999
* If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can still pass information about suspected crimes to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

For more information about home security and property marking, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity or contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.