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Don't Let Your Getaway Become a Giveaway!

Don't Let Your Getaway Become a Giveaway!

LONDON, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- This Easter, thousands of Britons are looking forward to jetting off for a well-deserved holiday. However, coming home to find that your house has been burgled could quickly turn your dream holiday into a nightmare.

To help holidaymakers, the Home Office's Let's keep crime down campaign has devised a simple check list, which gives practical steps on how to keep your home safe while you are away.

Graeme Gerrard, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, says:

"In all the excitement of planning your trip, it's easy to forget that opportunistic burglars might be waiting to take advantage while you're away. Indeed, nearly half of all burglaries take place when houses are empty for a while.

"However, by following the simple steps you can help to significantly reduce the chances of being targeted by a burglar while you are away."

One week before you go: - Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries for the duration of your holiday - Consider leaving valuables with other family members or locking them up in a safe - Cut the lawn before you go and trim any plants that burglars could hide behind - Uncollected mail is a sure sign that no one is home. Use the Royal Mail's 'Keep safe(TM)' service which will keep mail for you for up to two months or ask a neighbour to stop by and pick up your mail for you - Put all your tools away so they cannot be used to break into your house and lock your garage and shed with proper security locks - Make sure you have up-to-date contents and buildings insurance The day of departure: - Try to leave your home looking like someone is living in it. Don't close your curtains as in the daytime this shows the house is empty. Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark. Alternatively, ask a neighbour to pop in and open and close curtains and so on - Try not to leave valuable items, like your TV, stereo and DVD where burglars can see them - Don't write your home address on your luggage labels until you are on you return journey - Just before you set off, make sure you spend a few minutes double checking that you've done all you had to do and ensure your locks are safely secured, and if you have a burglar alarm it is set

Finally:

Don't forget your tickets and passports and have a good trip!

Go to www.homeoffice.gov.uk for more crime reduction tips and advice.

NOTES TO EDITORS - A major campaign to cut crime - specifically robbery, domestic burglary and vehicle crime - was launched by the Home Office on 1 November. The campaign includes advertising (TV, radio, print and ambient), materials production, partnerships and PR activity and will run to end March 2005. See Home Office press notice 334/2004. - The campaign strapline is Let's Keep Crime Down - Incidences of robbery, burglary and vehicle crime are falling - your chance of being a victim of crime is now at its lowest point for 20 years. - More than one million burglaries, robberies and thefts of vehicles were recorded by last year's British Crime Survey. A fifth of these crimes take place because people fail to take basic precautionary measures to protect their property.

The Home Office

For more information on the Let's keep crime down campaign, contact Christina Bell on +44-(0)20-7403-2230, christina@forster.co.uk

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