Christmas crime: Steps to prevent theft

We can offer a range of security measures to help

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Recently there were a number of burglaries from homes in Kidderminster which included Christmas presents, jewellery, cash and mobile phones. Meanwhile, West Mercia police have reported on a spike in lorry thefts in the last year, which they believe could ramp up as criminal gangs attempt to cash in on consumer demand in the run up to Christmas. This highlights the need for both home and business owners to be vigilant about security during these dark evenings when valuable items are likely to be stored.

Taking steps to protect your home at Christmas time

While organised gangs can target a number of properties as happened in Kidderminster, many burglars are opportunists so you can take some simple steps to protect your home. Making sure all your doors, windows and outside gates are locked when you are out is the most important step of all.

You should also keep any valuable items and wrapped Christmas presents stored away from windows. Empty boxes that contained deliveries should not be visible either as this could lead thieves to suspect there are expensive items inside the property.

Additionally, if you are going out for the day, or if you are away overnight, you could have lamps plugged in with timers so that they go on and off so that thieves do not realise the house is empty. Security lights that come on when they approach will also deter burglars as they are no longer breaking in under the cover of darkness.

Protecting commercial property and lorries

West Mercia Police reported that a trailer of cheeses with an estimated value of £50,000, was stolen from Strensham services in Worcestershire on the M5 at the beginning of December. Toys, food, white goods, and perfumes are among the types of products that organised crime gangs are targeting, with the force saying 140 such crimes have taken place this year, in the area it covers (Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire) almost double last year’s total of 83.

Motorway service stations and industrial estates are a target for criminals looking to steal from lorries, particularly close to Christmas when the items maybe of higher value, according To West Mercia Police. There has been estimated loss value of £1.35million in cargo from service stations at Frankley, Strensham, Telford and Hopwood over the past few years, the force said. Separately, food and washing powder was stolen from the Hartlebury Trading estate near Kidderminster at the end of November.

Detective Constable Dan Griffiths of the West Mercia Force Intelligence Bureau said: “These high value acquisitive crimes relate to all products that go into the supply chain, be they white goods, groceries, retail items or raw materials, so their theft ultimately affects all of us.

“There’s a reputational impact on large carriers too if their lorries are getting raided as they will lose custom, as well as insurance premiums go up and stock missing from our supermarket shelves, so any additional costs in the chain will eventually get passed on to the customer.”

The police are stepping up their patrols of the potential hot-spot areas but have called on lorry drivers to take extra precautions. These include parking lorries in areas they can see it and with their loading doors close to other vehicles. Additionally, they have asked the public to also be vigilant and if to report it if they notice anything suspicious.

If you want to report a possible crime within Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire, whether this is in a residential area, on an industrial estate, near shops or at a motorway service station, you can go to Alternatively, throughout the UK, people can pass on information anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 555111 or by visiting its website:

How Ecl-ips can help

Both commercial and residential properties can benefit from improved security measures, which are particularly needed in the run up to Christmas. If you cannot consider them all now, then make sure you take some the simple steps, such as installing adequate security lights, but consider investing more in your security systems in the new year.

We offer intruder alarm systems and CCTV systems. These can act as deterrents to burglars as the bell boxes and cameras are visible to them. Commercial properties also need to put up signage to indicate surveillance camera recordings are taken place, which helps to make potential intruders more wary.

Advanced Intruder Alarm Systems

The sound of the burglar alarm, should a break-in still be attempted, means that thieves may think twice about continuing or may mean they do not stay for as long as neighbours or passers-by are likely to be alerted to an incident taking place.

We offer both Orisec and HKC Security intruder alarm systems, which include a range of wired and wireless detectors which will be suitable for both residential and commercial properties. Additionally, they both have mobile apps which means you can set and unset the alarm remotely and can be notified that an alarm has been triggered.

We can design and install bespoke grade 2 or grade 3 intruder alarm systems that will meet the risk level needed for your property and to meet the requirements of your insurance company so you have peace of mind.

If more support is required, we can also offer remote monitoring via our Alarm receiving centre (ARC). If the alarm is triggered, the ARC can notify a nominated keyholder or request a police response if you need this.

CCTV/ Surveillance camera systems

We can offer both the on-premise and cloud surveillance camera solutions from Avigilon. These can be linked to video management software that is easy to use but includes advanced analytics features allowing you to easily identify unusual events and suspicious individuals.

The camera solutions which commercial properties may choose include the Avigilon H5A Thermal camera which combines powerful heat-sensing technology with its next-generation video analytics. This camera can detect the presence and movement of people and vehicles in complete darkness, smoke, mist, and foliage. This is just one of a large selection of cameras from Avigilon that we can use to design a bespoke CCTV solution for different types of properties and location.

The video analytics embedded in the Avigilon H5A Thermal camera will sense when people or vehicles are moving at an unusual speed or are present in an unusual location. This sends an event notification to Avigilon Unity video for presentation to an operator in its Focus of Attention interface. This means you can act quickly if a break-in occurs. CCTV recordings can also act as evidence for the police investigating burglaries.

Have peace of mind for Christmas and the New Year

Without home and business owners taking proper precautions this can be a lucrative time of year for criminals hoping to cash in on the demand for goods. Investing in an advanced intruder alarm, and possibly also a CCTV system, will give you peace of mind all year round, whether you are protecting your home or business. If you need extra protection, we offer a further range of security and monitoring appliances that could help. Please contact us to find out more.