Paddy Tipping: Help us to keep crime at bay by toughening up your security

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It’s the time of year for New Year resolutions and I’m hopeful that we can convince our communities to make 2015 the year for increased personal and household security.

January might be a gloomy time for some after the excitement of Christmas but that doesn’t mean to say criminals are tucked up getting an early night.

With all the new electrical goods in our homes and latest technology in our pockets thanks to festive generosity, the start of the new year is a busy time for thieves.

Shops are still crammed with expensive merchandise and high-value items such as televisions, digital cameras and mobile phones for the January sales and unfortunately this is all too tempting for shoplifters.

Thankfully, Ashfield and Mansfield enjoyed a peaceful pre-Christmas party season and this is partly due to the strong police uniformed presence in the town centres.

However this doesn’t mean that residents should ease up on their safety measures.

January continues to bring the threat of criminality to the area’s streets and the best way of ensuring you do not become a victim is to make life hard for would-be criminals.

Where there are expensive goods there are criminals and so it makes sense to ensure that your new mobile phone or iPad are close to you at all times, either in a zipped bag or coat.

Pick pockets will continue to operate over the next few weeks as shopping centres become packed with people looking for a bargain.

Distracted shoppers make easy pickings for criminals and they will not think twice about capitalising on their victim’s absentmindedness.

Don’t make life easy for them by having expensive personal possessions on show.

Criminals would rather target a victim who very clearly offers a prize rather than taking a chance on one which might not deliver anything.

As we move into 2015, there is much to be optimistic about in terms of making Ashfield and Mansfield safer.

Burglary rates have fallen by 15.9% - almost double the rate of reduction for the county.

Similarly, vehicle crime has fallen by 4.8%.

There is much more work to do but we know that local people can give our efforts a lift by taking safety seriously.

Help us to keep crime at bay by toughening up your security.