Take measures to stay safe this Christmas

As we approach the festive period and begin to look forward to the celebrations, I want to remind people of the importance of securing their home and property at all times, writes Chief Inspector Kenny Simpson.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:46 pm
Stay safe this Christmas. Photo: Ian Georgeson

Having your home broken into is an incredibly upsetting experience, and can be even more distressing if it happens during what should be such a happy time of year.

Thieves will look to exploit weaknesses in security, so you can reduce the risk by taking a few simple steps. Check that all doors and windows are closed and locked before going to bed. Make sure your presents and valuables aren’t visible through the window and, likewise, don’t leave presents or valuables visible in your car.

If leaving presents or bikes in the shed or garage, ensure it is locked with a good quality padlock, fit an audible alarm and secure them with a ground anchor or similar. Keep car keys out of sight so that if someone does gain access to your home, they can’t be found and used to steal your vehicle. Further home security advice is available by visiting the ‘Keep Safe’ section of the Police Scotland website, or in the ‘Lock Down Crime’ section of Midlothian Council’s website.

Other areas where we will also be focussing our attention this month will be on road safety and party safety. We’ve had the first cold snap of the year and some local flooding, both of which pose a danger to road users. I would urge everybody to ensure that their vehicles are winter ready. Tyres which are worn and are not fully inflated may seem like minor issues, but they can have a massive effect on how the car handles in adverse conditions.

I’d also like to reinforce the message that drinking and driving will not be tolerated, and urge people to think of the potential consequences of this behaviour.

In relation to party safety, I hope that people enjoy their festive celebrations but would urge people to do so responsibly. Drinking over your limits can mean that you’re more vulnerable to crime, so make sure that you’ve planned your way home in advance and that you stick with your friends and look out for one another. My officers and I will be working throughout the coming weeks to help ensure that locals enjoy the holidays safely. I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.