Advice for keeping safe and crime free this Christmas.
Christmas is a time to celebrate and have fun. But for some it can provide opportunity to take advantage of those who are vulnerable and susceptable to crime.
For a safe Christmas and to avoid becoming a victim of crime follow our advice below.
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 and presents in your vehicle. If you do leave items in the car make sure they are not on display
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. i.e. if buying a bike think about also giving a decent 'D' lock.
At the cashpoints
| If you see someone suspicious hanging around cancel the transaction and use another cashpoint.
Before inserting your card have a look at the machine to check it looks normal.
When entering your PIN number make sure others around cannot see.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, only withdraw what you reasonably need.
Put your money and your cards away safely before leaving the machine.
Leave it till 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, mobiles or electrical items 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. You could always put a lamp or radio on a timer switch.
Dispose of packaging carefully by breaking it down before putting it in the bin. Empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have nice 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 getting 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.
If there's trouble while you're out stay well clear of it.
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.
To report a crime that has taken place or something suspicious call us on 101, in an emergency call 999.