A Grinch-like police force has been slammed after telling British households not to put presents under their Christmas trees until the big day itself.
Yesterday (Tuesday, December 6) Cambridgeshire Constabulary appealed to people to be cautious, warning of the risk of opportunist burglars.
Detective Sergeant Justin Parr said: "With the Christmas festivities upon us, it’s so important to ensure your home is protected to the best ability from burglars.
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"Avoid putting presents under the tree until Christmas morning. Instead, keep them in closed wardrobes or cupboards, or underneath beds.
"That way they are not visible from outside."
It came after the force reported a rise in chance burglaries throughout the winter months, and after polling revealed a significant proportion of people leave presents under their trees before Christmas Eve.
However, many Cambridge residents mocked the advice, unsure that the location of presents would do much to deter would-be criminals.
Marcus Robin from Burwell wrote online: "If thieves are in your house, they're going to find them whether the presents are under a tree or in a bloody cupboard.
"This is just Cambs police waving a massive banner saying that there's not enough of them to be a deterrent."
Adam Butler from Trumpington said: "Surely if someone is going to the hassle of breaking in, they are likely to check cupboards and such places anyway?"
Others speculated that the greater risk of theft came from parcels being left outside of homes.
Not everyone thought the advice was ridiculous though. Bryn Evans-Jinks from Burwell said: "Not leaving valuables out in the open is sensible advice all year round."
Mildieu Whettrott from Chesterton added: "I try not to put temptation in people’s way. Wrapped boxes under a tree through a front window will look like the next hit to a junkie."
The Cambridgeshire Constabulary report noted a 7% rise in thefts since summer.
A Twitter poll revealed that 38.2% of people leave presents under the tree before Christmas Day, with 49% admitting to it on Instagram.
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