DETECTIVES in Downpatrick are reminding caravan owners to ensure their vans are secure and emptied of any high value goods, following reports of eight confirmed burglaries and three attempted burglaries at a site on Dundrum Road area of Newcastle overnight (Sun 3 into Mon 4 Feb).Officers would advise anyone who owns or looks after a caravan to fit strong locks, remove items like televisions and other electrical goods, bicycles, sports equipment and fishing gear while they are not in use. Aciting DI Little at Downpatrick CID is advising anyone who owns or uses a caravan to ensure it is properly secured when unoccupied. “Caravans may be more vulnerable than houses but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your property secure,” she said. “The holiday season will be starting soon. Many people will be going to their caravans at weekends or for longer periods and when they do, they may take equipment like televisions, and games consoles with them. “I urge caravan owners to take a few practical crime prevention steps to reduce your chances of being a victim of crime.” These are listed below: DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING VALUABLE ON DISPLAY Take all your valuables with you when you leave the caravan or at least lock them away from sight. LEAVE YOUR CURTAINS OPEN Possible intruders can see there are no valuables lying about. Site security can also check out your caravan easily. Even open cupboard doors at the end of the season can help deter a thief. USE SECURITY MARKINGS Where possible, valuable items such as laptops and televisions should be marked with your postcode and house number using a UV marker. This helps police identify the owner of the recovered property. IF YOU HAVE A SHED BESIDE YOUR CARAVAN Keep your shed in good condition and fit a good close shackle padlock to the door. Valuables inside should also be marked with your postcode. Think about chaining larger items such as bicycles together when they are not being used- it is much more difficult for a thief to carry away lots of large heavy items. GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS Keep an eye on each others caravans when they are vacant. Don’t be afraid to report anything suspicious to the site manager or the PSNI immediately. If you notice anything untoward in your caravan park, note down any important details such as a description or vehicle registration and contact police immediately on 999. Officers will follow up on your call and your prompt information could prevent a crime from occurring. Anyone who would like further crime prevention advice on this or any other subject is asked to contact their local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.