When you think of the holidays, you most certainly don’t want to think about crime. You want to think of peaceful moments shared by family and friends. You want to look forward to a safe little trip with the kids, or to the loved ones you never see.
Tragically, crime doesn’t stop, even on Christmas. What kinds of holiday crimes are there? 10 of the most common holiday crimes we’ve witnessed include:
Quite a long list, right?! You would hope that criminals would take off to spend time with their loved ones, but unfortunately crime increases during the holidays! The worst increase is seen for robberies and personal larceny (theft), dominating the overall holiday crime statistics with an average 20% increase during this time of year.
As crime scene cleaners, we’ve been exposed to almost every situation on this list. Let us share with you our security tips during this festive season, as well as what you can do if you’re traveling.
Holiday Safety Tips for Home Crime Prevention
Although holiday crimes vary, statistics show they are mostly dominated by robberies and personal larceny. As a result, our tips center around the most important safety facts regarding home-break ins and Christmas home security tips. Most of the time, home burglaries occur while the family is traveling.
How you can deter burglars when on holiday
To deter burglars, make sure the mail doesn’t pile up while you’re away for Christmas.
Secure and safeguard your windows. You’d be surprised by how often we hear break ins as a result of a window left accidentally open. The worst ones were because a family didn’t realize the window was left slightly open, just enough for the burglar to wedge through and pry it open.
Invest in a home security system. We recommend investing in a RING camera and having a full surveillance system installed. ADP has great plans starting at affordable prices.
Never leave spare house keys outside, especially throughout the Christmas season. Burglars will spend the time thoroughly looking for spare keys, even in places you’d think they’d least look. If you can, give the spare key to a family member or someone you can trust.
Burglars will look for piles of newspapers and mail near the door. If you’re away for an extended period of time, be sure a neighbor or family member occasionally stops by to throw out old newspapers and collect any mail near the door.
A Note on Domestic Violence
Although familicides like the Covina Christmas Massacre are thankfully rare, it’s important to note that domestic violence did make the list. In general, domestic violence is most prevalent when at risk couples spend more time with one another. And unfortunately, that means domestic homicide can happen likely later on.
If you’re in this situation, we encourage you to try to stay as connected with loved ones as possible. Also, we recommend anonymously saving the phone number to the domestic violence hotline to your phone as a speed dial: 800.799.SAFE (7233).
Traveling During the Holidays
Travel and hospitality industry spike during the holidays, especially around Christmas, New Year’s, and Thanksgiving. Although the pandemic has caused abnormal drops in annual stats, travel has made a comeback, with chaos expected through December 2021.
As nationwide cleaners, we’re used to traveling all over the country, regardless of the time or circumstance. We have written on travel safety topics in the past, but not pertaining to Christmastime. This is why we’d like to extend some tips to families that are traveling through this busy time.
What to Expect
For safe holiday travel, make sure you maintenance your car. Check your battery, tires, and oil.
If you need to fly on xmas day, be sure all gifts are concealed. Especially the more expensive ones. As we mentioned, thieves are especially looking for gifts to bring home to their loved ones during this time of year. There are locking duffel bags and backpacks you can bring with you.
If you’re driving, be sure to do basic maintenance on your car before leaving. Check your car’s oil, tires, and battery (or at least bring a jumper box). You don’t want to get stranded, especially in unfamiliar areas where criminals are looking for opportunities.
Be on the lookout for predatory behavior. Yes, for real. Recent years have shown an annual spike in human trafficking during the holidays. Even if you’re not a parent, prostitution at motels opens opportunities for other crimes as well, all which can affect your stay.
We hope this has helped remind or at least provided some additional comfort to you this season! We hope you consider sharing it to help us reach even more in our communities! Thank you!