Published: 17:00, 23 December 2017
Kent Police are reminding residents to stay vigilant during the festive season.
They are particularly warning people to guard against burglaries looking for easy pickings at this time of year.
Officers want residents to keep their windows and doors locked and curtains drawn so thieves do not have an easy view into their houses.
They stress that after the festive season empty boxes are a sign to criminals of what presents have been received that they could steal.
Householders are advised to wait a while until putting out the boxes for recycling or take them straight to a designated refuse site.
Kent Police also ask people to look out for their elderly or vulnerable neighbours as well as friends and family.
Det Insp Lopa McDermott, of Medway CID, said: "Criminals use any opportunities they can in order to get their hands onto other people’s property.
"It is easy to become complacent during the festive season but I would encourage residents to ensure their properties are secure and that their gifts are out of view.
"Social media is another way people showcase their new presents, which can identify what is within their home and also when homeowners are out.
"So again I would urge caution as to what people post on their social media feeds."
Kent Police offer three other key tips for Christmas safety.
• Keep doors and windows locked and curtains drawn at night – use light timers so you appear to be at home even if you are not. Leaving TVs and radios on is also a good idea.
• When out during the festive period ensure you do not walk home alone or take a taxi alone. Always stay with others and ensure your phone is charged before heading out.
• Do not accept drinks from strangers. It is easy to get caught up in the festive spirit but be aware of others around you and always stay with friends or family.
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