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Following home secretary Jacqui Smith’s recent warning of a possible rise in levels of theft, burglary and robbery as the recession takes hold, householders are being warned by CallUma, the overseas assistance specialists, to take extra precautions when leaving their homes during the festive holiday season.

With an average of 1 in 5 houses left empty over Christmas, this is an ideal time for burglars to take their pick of the many expensive gifts on offer.

CEO Tony Partridge warns “Burglaries are traditionally rife at this time of year and, with the current economic hardship, things are only likely to get worse.” He continues, “However, there are a number of measures householders can take to minimise the risk. It’s well worth making sure you do as much as you can to protect yourself, your home and your belongings. So, arguments with the in-laws and fights over the Brussels sprouts aside, taking some simple, wise precautions should ensure you have a happy Christmas!”

•Put Christmas gifts out at the very last minute and, if you have a Christmas tree on show in the window don’t put your presents underneath it.

•Dispose of any packaging carefully – particularly for expensive gifts such as games consoles, MP3 players, stereos or computers.

•Houses with simple security measures, such as locks on windows and deadlocks on doors, are ten times less likely to be burgled than those without any so, when leaving the house, activate your alarm and always ensure that doors and windows are locked – this includes garages and sheds where access to tools and ladders could make the burglar’s life even easier.

•If you’re likely to be away for a prolonged period of time cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers, and ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your home to make sure mail isn’t left stuck in the letterbox.

•If you’re travelling by plane or train, never display your address details on your luggage tags – this is an open advertisement to criminals that you’re leaving an empty home. CallUma’s Tag’n’Traq luggage tags and tracking service uses a unique tracking number to avoid this problem.

•Ensure you have adequate home contents insurance and that details of your valuables are properly recorded.

•Mark your property cheaply and effectively with your postcode using an ultraviolet pen and record any manufacturers’ serial numbers. Security coding can not only help to reunite you with your missing items but may also help the police catch the thieves responsible. Personalising your items also makes it harder for thieves to dispose them and could provide valuable evidence for prosecution.

•For items such as antiques, art, silverware or jewellery, take close-up digital colour photographs, paying particular attention to any distinguishing marks such as a crest or any initials and make a note of any unusual details. The photos should be taken against a plain colour background and include a ruler to give an accurate impression of size. Keep the photos safe and easily accessible with a copy of your home insurance policy by uploading it to an online document storage facility, such as CallUma’s Doc Store.


Editor's notes:

Intervews and images are available on request.

CallUma stands for Universal Multilingual Assistance

CallUma provides 24 hour worldwide emergency help and information for holidaymakers, business and independent travellers. Its multilingual assistants speak over 87% of the world’s most widely spoken languages between them and provide the ultimate peace of mind to travellers worldwide.

Be it protecting your luggage with a high quality luggage tags and tracking service, providing help reporting a crime, finding a taxi firm, changing a flight or speaking to an overseas doctor – whatever you need, CallUma’s team of experts is at the end of the phone to give peace of mind that help is always at hand.

Tag ‘n’ Traq luggage tags and 12 months’ tracking service costs £4.95.
Doc Store includes 25Mb of secure online storage and costs £9.95

CallUma products are available at and or at any branch of Co-operative Travel throughout the UK and Ireland.

For further details or to arrange an interview contact Julia Carr, Communications Manager or Tony Partridge, CEO on 01481 825100 / 07757 772293 or /

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of CallUma in the following categories: Men's Interest, Leisure & Hobbies, Home & Garden, Women's Interest & Beauty, Travel, for more information visit