The festive season is a time of joy and celebration of family, friends, presents and much-deserved holidays and rest.
Unfortunately, many researchers show that there is a relationship between holidays and increases in crime rate, including home crime and domestic abuse. The 2014 new year celebrations in Sydney were marred by the death of a Sydney partygoer who was 'king hit' from behind and later died, and unfortunately the statistics show that with increased consumption of alcohol and other party favours, violence also tends to increase.
So, here are some quick handy tips to help you keep your jolly season jolly, rather than silly!
1. Don't leave all of your presents piled up under the tree by your front window, where anyone can see them, smash a window, grab what they can and make a run.
2. If you are going away, make sure that your house still looks occupied. Ask a trusted neighbour to collect your mail. If you have a timer or automated system for lights, use it. Don't leave the front lights on 24 hours a day. Alternatively, you can ask someone you trust to come in and turn some lights on and others off once a day.
3. Don't post your holiday dates, destinations, etc., on social media, especially if you are one of those people who randomly add people on Facebook.
#awayonholiday = #breakintomyhouse
4. Everyone loves gifts! But don't leave the boxes of all of your new electronics on the street or by your bin, as you will be advertising what can be found inside your house!
5. We all know that the spare key is under the bin, in the post box, in the pot plant, etc. Don't leave it there!
If you are going to party, please make sure that you:
1. Nominate a designated driver
2. Plan your route home and make sure someone know where you are at all times.
3. Don't wander the streets late at night by yourself, stick to well-lit areas and make sure you are aware of your surroundings – don't be distracted by your phone or walk with your headphones in.
Here's to a happy, restful, safe festive season, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Pancha Ganapati, Yule, Hogswatch, Festivus or whatever you may be celebrating!