AS the countdown to Christmas continues warnings for vigilance have been issued in the hope that members of the community can help protect their presents and belongings from thieves.
In asking for people to keep their cars and properties locked a PSNI spokesman said not to “give burglars an early present of your belongings”.
This advice was echoed by Councillor Thomas O’Reilly who said, “It’s important to ensure that you close the doors and lock the windows.”
Mr O’Reilly added that neighbourhood watch schemes could benefit rural communities. “A self help idea is the neighbourhood watches. They can certainly be a constructive way to protect your own property and that of your neighbours. It’s a good community response to people who want to steal your belongings.”
Advice was also issued for shoppers to air caution while looking for Christmas gifts. “With Christmas shopping in full swing it is important to be aware of pick pocketing and of where you are putting your newly acquired purchases in your car and making sure that they are not visible.
“Police can educate but people have to take responsibility and do the best they can to make sure that these people are not given easy opportunities,” Mr O’Reilly remarked.
Cllr Alan Rainey, chairman of the Fermanagh and Omagh PCSP said, “At this time of year, we’re often preoccupied with presents, people, and parties – but it’s important to ensure you put your safety first. “When bagging festive bargains online, don’t get fooled by a too-good-to-be-true deal, and ensure your passwords vary for each site. Only buy from websites you know and trust, and that have a lock symbol in the address bar.”
Chief Inspector Clive Beatty of Fermanagh and Omagh PSNI added, “Christmas can be a joyous time for many but for some, pleasure can become pain if our homes are broken into and our presents taken, or the presence of life is taken on our roads due to drink/drug driving. We all want a peaceful festive season, so please look after yourselves and each other.”