Christmas is a time to celebrate and have fun. However, for some it can provide an opportunity to take advantage of those who are vulnerable. So here are a few ideas on how to keep Christmas merry and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.
At the shops
- Park your car in a well-lit car park, preferably one that’s attended or displays the Park Mark logo.
- Before you leave your car, ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked and avoid leaving your purchases or personal possessions in your vehicle.
- Make sure your handbag is closed or your wallet is in an inside pocket as you move around to reduce temptation from a pick-pocket.
- Don't leave a bag unattended in a trolley, even if only for a couple of seconds.
- Keep your PIN numbers for bank cards confidential and when entering your PIN number at a terminal ensure no one can see you enter it.
- Try to pay for items on a debit card rather than carrying large amounts of cash or keep the amount you carry to a minimum.
- Think about the item you are buying someone. Are there any security products you could purchase to help them keep them safe/secure? For example, if buying a bike think about also giving a decent 'D' lock.
- Leave it until the last minute to put Christmas presents out under the tree and don’t leave them in view of a window.
- If you are buying or receiving valuable gifts, such as bikes, mobile phones or tablets, register them for free at www.immobilise.com. Doing this can assist the police in returning your property should it be lost or stolen.
- Refrain from keeping large amounts of cash at home.
- A secure home will reduce the chance of a burglary. Make sure windows and doors are locked and remove keys from sight every time you leave the house.
- When you go out at night make it appear that someone is home. Draw the curtains and leave a light on.
- Dispose of packaging carefully by breaking it down before putting it in the bin. Empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have expensive new goods inside.
If you are going away
- Check you have locked all doors and windows, then remove keys from sight. If you have an alarm, activate it.
- Inform trusted neighbours that you are away and ask if they will keep an eye on your property and collect your post.
- Use timer switches on lamps and radios so it looks as though you are home and deters intruders.
- Cancel any deliveries such as milk and newspapers.
If you are out for the evening
- Drink sensibly and stay with your friends.
- Plan how to get home in advance.
- Save the number of a licensed taxi firm in your mobile phone. Always check the driver's identification and never get into an unlicensed taxi.
- Don't accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended.
- Whether you are male or female, avoid walking alone and never take short cuts through dark alleys or large open spaces.
- Keep your belongings with you and your valuables out of sight; never leave your bag hanging over a chair or personal items left unattended.
- Don't drink and drive, and remember you may still be over the limit the morning after a big night out.
Wishing all you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
Claudia Pattison | PCSO 16505
Romsey North NPT