MONTROSE householders need to be more vigilant to prevent their properties being targeted by thieves during the winter months, local police have said.
Tayside Police last month launched its annual Operation After Dark security initiative, which runs throughout the winter, and officers have found that some residents are putting their properties at risk.
As part of its operation, the force is increasing its high visibility patrols during the hours of darkness with the aim of preventing crime after dark and encouraging householders to focus on their home security.
But at Montrose Community Council’s last meeting, Community Liaison Constable Ally Hutchison said that during local patrols some properties were found to be less than secure.
He said: “We’ve started the campaign in Montrose and during patrols around the Glens and other areas we found that properties had been left unlit and some garage doors had been left open.
“We put cards offering advice through the doors but we’d ask people to be a bit more aware. We’re also asking everyone to be a good neighbour and watch out for their neighbours and their property.”
The force advises that all valuables should be security marked with the owner’s postcode and house number and that a make a list of property should be compiled. Doing so makes it easier to return stolen property to its rightful owner in the event that it is recovered.
Windows, doors and outbuildings should all be properly secured, even when the house is occupied, and lights operated by timer switches will help to give the impression that someone is at home.
A Tayside Police spokesman added: “Above all, be a good neighbour, particularly if you have older or vulnerable neighbours. Ask them if they require any assistance to make their homes safer and keep an eye out for them, as well as anyone coming to their door. Report any suspicious activity in your area to the police.”
In Angus, the Safe as Houses security can give advice to victims of crime, older and disabled people and vulnerable members of the community. Further information about the service can be obtained by contacting Angus Care & Repair at 01307 463232.
Tayside Police can also offer additional security advice an anyone wishing to find out more can contact 0300 111 2222 and ask to be put through to their local Community Officer.
Constable Hutchison also said that, as part of the After Dark initiative locally and the force’s continuing Operation Dry Up, officers will keep an eye on potential trouble arising from underage drinkers, particularly in eh run-up to and around the festive period.
He said: “There will be a Total Dry Up operation before Christmas, but as it stands at the moment the figures for underage drinking are down along with associated antisocial behaviour.”