The police have warned against putting Christmas boxes outside the house in Kent, as it could increase the risk of being targeted by burglars.

The advice came from Kent Police via a Facebook post, urging residents to hold on to waste until refuse collection day or take a trip to the tip, instead of leaving boxes that advertise expensive items outside their home.

As part of their 'Kent Against Burglary' campaign, the police reminded people on their website that burglaries typically rise in autumn and winter, with dark nights and homes filled with Christmas gifts providing additional attraction to burglars.

Burglars, often opportunist by nature, will prey on open windows, unlocked doors, or visible valuables, particularly during weekdays in daylight hours when households may be empty.

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Kent Police recommended some simple measures to mitigate against burglary risks: keeping keys, cash and expensive items from view, using timer switches to simulate occupancy, keeping doors and windows in good repair, securing garden gates, as well as garden items that could be used to break in and, vitally, locking all doors and windows.

Other recommendations for individual items, something particularly important after Christmas, included keeping the receipts and serial numbers of gifts safe, and photographing and insuring unique or expensive items.

For vehicle safety, clear any items from view, utilise secure car park facilities when possible and store car keys away from doors and windows.