Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police crime prevention adviser, Sarah Cohen.
CHRISTMAS may be the season of good will but that won’t stop burglars from breaking into your house and stealing your presents.
"The impact of burglary can be devastating, and it’s particularly cruel at Christmas. It’s not just that someone has been in your house, which is distressing enough, but the fact that presents have been taken and the children are upset.
"They ask their parents why Santa would do such a horrible thing," said Sarah Cohen, a crime prevention adviser with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police.
"It’s heartbreaking. And victims are reminded of what happened every year."
Police have urged people to guard against being burgled this Christmas and Sarah said there were a few simple precautions people could take to reduce the risk.
"It’s not difficult or expensive to make sure your home is secure, we aren’t talking about surveillance systems. Crime prevention is mostly common sense.
"Lock your doors and windows, even when you’re inside, and your car. Leave your lights on so it looks like someone is home when it gets dark — you can get timer switches very cheaply — and don’t put presents under the tree until Christmas Eve," said Sarah.
"If you can take away the motivation for someone to break into your home, you will massively reduce the chance of being burgled.
"No-one wants police in their house at Christmas, dusting for prints, no-one wants to be rushing out buying presents to replace the ones that were stolen.
"It’s really worth taking a few simple security measures."
• For further information about making your home and property secure, call 101 or visit www.hampshire.police.uk