With crime rates tending to rise in December, Narrogin police officers spent an afternoon at Coles on Thursday, November 30 giving the community advice on how to keep crooks from spoiling Christmas. Sgt Mick Williams said that the message was simple — a commonsense approach to the festive season would help make sure that Santa is the only person climbing down your chimney. “This time is always busy and Narrogin police have always been proactive in this space trying to minimise harm to the community by people who are doing badness,” he said “We’re here trying to give some education to people in the community so they can assist us in minimising the harm that occurs through burglary and stealing.” Marking property to make it identifiable is one way people can assist police, making it easier for stolen property to be returned. Burglary, however, isn’t the only crime that rises with the warmer weather. “It’s crime in general,” Sgt Williams said. “We want to reduce crime and reduce the harm, people would rather be spending their money on Christmas presents than having to replace broken windows. “We’re asking people to be vigilant — get on the front foot, get involved in our proactive initiatives like Neighbourhood Watch and report suspicious behaviour to your local police.” Pamphlets on rural crime prevention and the Homeowner’s Property Register were available to the public and officers said that Neighbourhood Watch in particular is a great way for the community to help police combat crime. Simple measures like making sure home entrances are well-lit and carefully disposing of gift packaging also help, police said. “There are some people out there who are less fortunate than others and they take it upon themselves to dive into people’s bins to see what they’ve got for Christmas,” Sgt Williams said. “If you get good presents for Christmas, make sure you dispose of all the wrappers and don’t leave the boxes out the front. “You might find yourself a victim of crime if you don’t follow the simple steps.” People can also make sure trees and shrubs are pruned so burglars can’t hide, fit security screens to doors and windows and get to know their neighbours. Visible CCTV cameras and signage can also deter criminals. Further information on how to keep your home secure and safe can be found on the Neighbourhood Watch website.