COLUMN: Stay safe this Christmas by Inspector Pat Howitt

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So the busy Christmas and New Year period has finally caught up with us.

If there was one thing I could ask for during this festive period it would be that you keep yourselves as safe as possible, by keeping your property and vehicles locked and secure and by not leaving things on show for people to see.

When you go out, please make sure your Christmas lights are not left on and close your curtains; perhaps leave a big light on to give the impression that someone is at home.

This is a time of celebration for a lot of people, and I really would not want your festive holiday period to be ruined by someone taking advantage of the opportunity of an unlocked door, or to be tempted by a handbag or other valuables left on show.

We will be working over the festive period to ensure you stay safe and have a trouble free Christmas, and your Safer Neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out regular patrols in the community.

If you want to share information with us about crime or anti-social behaviour please ring the 101, the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

I can assure you that every call we receive is monitored and whenever possible we will take action from it to keep the residents of Amber Valley as safe, crime and trouble free as possible.

My team and I look forward to serving you throughout 2016, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and friends a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Remember you can also keep an eye on your Safer Neighbourhood policing team on Twitter, you can check the list on the website www.derbyshire.police.uk.