It is something we don't plan on when we go on holiday and although the chances are slim that you will be a victim of crime, a Universtiy of Canterbury criminologist is warning people to be vigilant.
Professor Greg Newbold says that summertime and especially between Christmas and New Year is associated with rises in reported crime.
" There is always a rise in violence and disorder. Violence increases at Christmas as a result of greater ammounts of alcohol being consumed, particularly around the Christmas and New Year period," he says.
" Fighting, rioting and general disorder are problems whenever young people gather together in groups to drink. There is also a rise in domestic violence associated with greater alcohol consumption and discordant cuouples sepnding more time together."
Property crime may also increase and burglaries may also increase as opportunistic burglars take advantage of people leaving their homes for holidays.
New Zealand police's tips if you are going away on holiday
- Make arrangements for your mail and newspaper to be stopped or collected by a friend or neighbour.
- Hide valuable items, financial documents and spare keys to vehicles etc.
- Lock your garage and any sheds.
- Set timer switches on lights and/or radio.
- Don't mention on your answering machine that you will be away from home for a few days.
- Get a neighbour or friend to make regular checks on the property. They can even close curtains in the evening and turn lights on to give the appearance that someone is at home.
- Take care when leaving empty boxes outside your home. They can give away details of new and valuable equipment that might be worth stealing.
- Make sure that your have home content.
Remember EMS details
St Johns Ambulance advises people to take not of their surroundsing when they are away in case they need to contact 111.
" It's important to provide wus with enough details so we can ge to you as quickly as we can. Stay on the phone and answer all the questions so we can gather the infomration we need to send the right response," Ambulance Communications Centre National Manager Alan Goudge says.
"It may seem like a lot of questions however this doesnt mean we are delaying getting an ambulance on it's way. We are gathering as much infomration to contiinually update our paramedica on the way to the scene."
If you are calling from landline, the address and phone number of the location you are calling from is automatically displayed on St John's computer screen.
When on holiday however, people are more likely to use their mobile phones, so the process can take longer if people don't know where they are.
NZ Fire Service Deputy National Commander, Peter McGill says in the case of a fire, it is important that people act quickly.
The faster a fire engine can get to the fire, the better.
"Giving a clear, accurate address is vital and be aware of the fire risks wherever you are over the holidays," he says.
New Year's Eve is the busiest time of the year collectively for all emergency services.
When to call 111
- When there is a fire, or a chemical spill.
- Someone is having difficulty breathing, is seriously ill or injured.
- Someone is in danger.
- There is a serious risk to life or property.
- A crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left.
- You have come across a major public inconvenience like trees on a highway.
- Essential Mums