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Keep Yourself Safe from Crime Over the Festive Period

Being a victim of crime can be a devastating experience and can happen to anyone. While the Police will be working extra hard to keep the public safe during the Christmas and New Year period, there are lots of things we can all do to reduce the risk of crime. Read on for some advice you can pass on to an older friend or relative and to find out how we can make ourselves more secure.

OUT AND ABOUT:

Make sure you lock your car and don’t leave any valuables on show – including any shopping you have already purchased. Wipe any marks off of your windscreen which may have been left by your Satnav.

Keep your bag safe by wearing the strap across your shoulder, keeping the opening towards you. Keep valuables such as your mobile phone and wallet/purse in an inside coat pocket. Protect your pin when using cash machines and shred unwanted cash receipts.

If possible, don’t walk home on your own at night, keep with friends and stick to busy, well lit areas. If you think you are being followed, cross the road and go to a busy area where you can ask for help.

Keep a registered taxi number in your mobile phone. When you are near to your house or car, have your keys ready to save time.

AT HOME:

If you are visiting friends or family this Christmas, make sure your property is secure. It is worth investing in a timer switch so it looks as if the house is occupied.  Keep presents hidden from view and get rid of any boxes which might display what you have purchased.  

It is also important to protect your identity from fraudsters. In order to do this, make sure you shred any bills and letters before you throw them away to protect personal details.

Beware of who you are opening your door to. Before answering, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Make sure your back door and any other doors leading outside are locked before answering the call. Open the door with the chain or door bar in place (these act as a barrier when talking to unexpected callers) or talk through a window if you can. And remember to always ask for ID. Genuine callers will always have identification. If you are still uncertain, phone the organisation and confirm the person is who they say they are.

Neighbourhood Watch schemes are proven to reduce burglary and deter bogus callers. The Neighbourhood Watch website http://www.ourwatch.org.uk/safety_advice/safer_homes/ has advice about safety in the home, and local schemes in your area. 

This year, Local Resilience Forum partners including the Police are working together to ensure important winter messages are shared with staff via the ‘Winter Watch’ campaign. The idea is that by sharing basic advice and ‘top tips,’ we can help keep ourselves and friends, neighbours and relatives safe.

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