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Shop Smart

Shopping advice for the festive period

Christmas TagIn the run up to Christmas we are urging shoppers to take precautions to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of opportunist thieves and pickpockets. This includes protecting yourself when shopping on-line.

Police officers work closely with store staff and CCTV operators to take early action against anyone seen acting suspiciously.

We are asking people to be extra vigilant when storing their items in a car or at home - particularly gifts and valuables.

Below you will find information and advice on how to protect yourself and your family.

Pickpockets

BurglarIt's easy for pick-pockets and shoplifters to conceal themselves amongst the crowds in shopping areas at this busy time of year.

Often working in pairs or groups, pickpockets will use various ways to lift your purse or wallet out of your pocket or bag.

One can purposely bump into you, or sometimes distract you while another will adeptly help themselves to your money and cards. You won't feel them stealing from you.

Don't put your money or wallet in a back pocket. Carry your bag close to you and so it opens facing you, keep a hand on it.

Don't leave bags on a shopping trolley, wheelchair, motorised scooter, or pushchairs.

Theft from Vehicles

Vehicle CrimeIf you put items you have just bought in your vehicle before heading back to the shops, put them in your boot.

REMEMBER to lock your car and make sure no one is watching you ready to pounce.

Click here for more advice on preventing vehicle crime.

 

 

 

Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone XmasNo one thinks twice about using a mobile phone on the go, but it does make us vulnerable to a thief.

With increased numbers of people in town/city centres, it's easy for a thief to snatch your phone and disappear into the crowds.

Register your mobile phone at Immobilise.

 

 

 

Safety at Home

Burglary XmasMany people put Christmas presents under a tree near a window.

Opportunist thieves will see this as invitation to break into your home and steal them. Consider putting your tree away from windows.

Thieves are also wise to people storing bigger presents prior to Christmas such as bikes in sheds and garages.

Keep thieves out by making sure you have strong locks and keep storage areas locked. Alternatively, find somewhere in your home, or with a friend or relative to store them safely.

Click here for more advice on crime prevention.

On-line Christmas Shopping

Christmas Cyber CrimeProtect yourself from cybercrime/fraud by only buying from reputable websites, being careful when entering credit/debit card numbers.

Open a Pay Pal account - it's a more secure way of purchasing on the web.

Click here [7MB]  for The 12 Online Frauds of Christmas leaflet.

To report fraud and cyber crime visit Action Fraud.

Buying on-line Devices

Computer XmasIf you buy a mobile phone or other on-line devices for your child we would urge you to set up parental controls to help keep them safe.

The internet is a source of information and entertainment but there are those who can and do use it to harm children.

Go to our section on child sexual exploitation or the NSPCC website for more information on CSE and parental controls.