Crime free Christmas
Make sure your handbag, purse or wallet is secure and out of sight in a place where a pickpocket would find it difficult to reach without you knowing. Never leave your bag unattended.
Pay on a debit card rather than carrying large amounts of cash. Consider buying high value items on a credit card as you may be insured if they’re ever stolen.
Shield your the keypad when typing in your pin number at a cash machine or in a shop.
When parking your car, close the windows, engage your steering lock, lock the doors and set alarms and immobilisers.
Remove your satnav and take it with you. Take the suction mounted fitting unit off the windscreen. This could tell a thief that a satnav could be in the car.
Try not to go back to your car to leave your shopping in the boot part-way through your shopping trip because thieves could be watching the carpark for such an opportunity. Collect bulky items from stores when you have finished all your shopping or have them delivered to home. If you have to keep presents in the car, make sure they are in the boot and the car is locked.
Park in a well-lit area or an attended car park. Visit the Park Mark website for details of carparks that have achieved the Park Mark.
At cash machines
Visit cash machines with someone else. If you see someone suspicious hanging around, use another one.
Before inserting your card, have a look around the machine, checking that it appears normal and there is nothing attached.
Shield your pin when typing it in.
Only withdraw as much as you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Put your money and cards away safely before leaving the machine.
Don’t leave presents under the tree, particularly if they’re visible from windows or doors.
You may be lucky enough to receive a valuable gift for Christmas. If you do, mark it with your postcode. Permanent marking kits are fairly cheap and could help you get it back if it’s stolen.
If you love it, log it! Visit the Immobilise website to register valuable items like computers, MP3 players, mobile phones, bikes, TVs and games consoles. It could help police return your items if they are ever stolen.
Think before you throw. Dispose of packaging carefully as empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have new and desirable goods at home.
Never keep large amounts of cash at home.
Lock up sheds and garages so thieves can’t access ladders and tools which they could use in a burglary.
Don’t leave keys in your doors or lying around. But, you should be able to find them quickly in an emergency. Never leave your keys displayed on a hook, especially near an outside door or under a doormat.
When you go out at night, leave the lights on with curtains drawn. You could also leave the TV or radio on to look as if you are at home. You could use timer switches to turn your lights on at times when you’re normally at home or when it gets dark.
A secure home will reduce the chance of you getting burgled. However, if you do get home and notice signs of a break-in:
Don’t go in or call out – the intruder could still be inside.
Go to a neighbour’s house to call the police on 999.
Don’t touch anything or tidy up.
If there’s a stranger at your door – stop – remember – SOS – STAY OUT STRANGER and always keep your door locked and check who is outside through the spyhole or a window. Don’t open the door to anybody you don’t recognise. Remember, you’re in control.
If you’re out for the evening
Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you’ll be home.
Plan how you’ll get home before going out. Keep bus/taxi money separate from your purse to make sure you can still get home if you lose your purse.
Don’t leave bags over the back of your chair and don’t leave your wallet, purse or phone on a table.
Drink responsibly. Staying in your group and never accept a drink from a stranger or leave your drink unattended.
Think! Don’t drink and drive. Arrange for a member of your group to be a designated driver – some pubs do offers on soft drinks for them.
Check your taxi driver’s ID and never get into an unlicensed taxi. Remember mini cabs are not permitted to pick up fares without pre-booking.
Have your keys ready when you’re arriving home in a taxi or friend’s car.
Never walk home alone and don’t take shortcuts through dark alleys or large open spaces.
If you’re being followed, cross the street – if necessary criss-cross. If you’re still being followed, run into the busiest place you can find and raise the alarm.
If you’re being followed by a car, turn around and walk back the other way. The car will have to turn around and will be on the other side of the street.
Remember, your safety and wellbeing is far more important than material belongings. Don’t compromise your safety for a mobile phone or other valuable item.
Be alert when travelling on crowded buses, trams or trains. These locations are places where pickpockets like to operate. If you get bumped or jostled, check you have everything you should have and report anything missing to us straight away.
Contact our crime prevention experts on 101 ext. 800 3011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Protect your property – Immobilise
Victim Support in Nottinghamshire