Police and community patrols are urging residents to be vigilant when going away on holiday to avoid becoming victims of crime.
With many people heading off for a break, the Northern News and Bay Chronicle has come up with some top tips to keep your home and contents safe.
Kerikeri senior sergeant Peter Robinson says thieves are looking for houses that are “obviously open”.
Everybody needs to ensure their houses, vehicles and buildings are secure and locked and valuables are kept out of sight, he says.
“If they’re [thieves] walking around day or night and the house is visibly open that will be an opportunity for them.
“Even if you’re at home doing work outside lock your house and if you’re not expecting someone you don’t need to answer the door.”
Robinson also suggests not advertising you’re away by posting photos on social media.
“Don’t advertise the fact you’re going for months on end and only give access [on social media] to trusted friends and family.”
The most current police data shows there were 2069 residential burglaries in Northland from January 1 to October 31 this year. Of those, 1277 were in Whangarei and 792 were in the Far North. The figures include burglaries from houses, as well as outbuildings like sheds and garages.
Kawakawa Community Patrol chairperson Debbie Russell says the best way to prevent break-ins is to lock everything up and let the neighbours know you’re going.
She suggests asking a family member, neighbour or trusted friend to clear the mail and check on the house.
“It’s always going to happen but you can takes steps to make sure it’s not an easy task for the thieves.
“Take all the steps you possibly can.”
Lock all windows and doors. Make sure garages and garden sheds are also locked and ensure ladders and tools are stored away. Leave a spare key with a neighbour, not hidden under a stone or flowerpot.
Tell the neighbours when you will be away, where you’re going, and give them a contact number.
Ask the neighbours to clear your letterbox, cancel newspaper subscriptions or contact NZ Post to have your mail held, and put a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox.
Police suggest you don’t post pictures of your holiday on social media until after you are home. There have been instances of homes being burgled following posts.
Leave the curtains open and the blinds pulled up, but ensure valuables – including televisions and stereo systems – can’t be seen from outside.
Ask a neighbour or friend to park their car in your driveway.
Make your home look occupied when you’re away by using timers on radios and lights.
Arrange to have your lawns mown.