At Christmas, we want you to stay safe during the festive season.
We want everyone to feel safe and secure in their home.
Most burglaries are opportunistic, and there are simple precautions you can take to protect your home and belongings:
- Close and lock all doors and windows
- Keep gifts and expensive items out of view
- Mark valuable items in your home with your postcode and house number
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your home
- Consider installing a home security system. Set your alarm when going out and at night time
- Leave a front room or bedroom light on if it will be dark before you get home
- Consider security lights. To a burglar a dark house is an empty house
- Always check who is at the door. Not sure? Don’t open the door
- Always keep sheds and outbuilding locked and secure ladders
- If you notice suspicious activity or vehicles in your local area, make a note of relevant information – including vehicle registrations – and contact police straight away on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
Follow these top tips to shop safe online this Christmas:
- Make sure a website is authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly. Ideally, type it in rather than clicking on a link in an email, text or post. It’s easy for scammers to set up fake websites that are very similar to the real thing.
- Make sure payment pages are secure by checking that addresses begin with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar. The https and closed padlock mean that the page is secure, but the site could still be operated by fraudsters.
- Social media sites/apps and online forums are a popular place for advertising gifts, tickets and holidays. Many are genuine, but you need to be aware that others are fraudulent. Be extra vigilant about checking that such ads are authentic.
- However desperate you are to buy that late present or an item that’s in short supply, don’t pay for it by transferring money directly to people or companies you don’t know. If it’s a fraud, your bank may not be able to recover or refund your money. If you can, pay by credit card. The same goes for holidays, travel and tickets.
- Log out of the web page or app when payment is completed. Simply closing it may not log you out automatically.
- Don’t knowingly buy fake or counterfeit goods and do all you can to make sure brands you do buy are genuine. Fakes are of inferior quality, contravene copyright law and affect the livelihoods of workers who make the real thing. They can also be unsafe in use.
- ‘Low-cost’ or ‘free’ trials can cause problems if you don’t read the small print and look for independent reviews. Whether they’re for the latest handset or slimming pills, you could be signing up for large monthly direct debits which are very hard to cancel.
- Learn how to spot fraudulent emails, texts or DMs, or fraudulent offers on social media. At this time of year, emails and other messages featuring ‘special offers’ and ‘prizes’ are commonplace. Don’t click on links in emails, texts or posts that you’re not expecting, and don’t open unexpected email attachments.
- Text messages and emails purporting to be sent by home delivery firms are also on the increase, commonly informing you that there’s a charge for re-delivering a parcel, or a shipping fee to be paid. However busy you are or how much online shopping you do, keep a record of everything you buy and, if possible, which parcel delivery firm the retailer is using.
- Check that Christmas or New Year breaks you book online are genuine by carrying out thorough research. Look for independent reviews, and make sure travel agents / tour operators are genuine by checking for an ABTA/ ATOL number. It’s always best to pay by credit card for extra protection.
Police work with local retailers to ensure a safe shopping environment for everyone this Christmas.
To help us keep you safe you should:
- Be patient and respectful of staff, other shoppers and their space.
- Be mindful of your personal belongings, keep them secure and only carry what you need.
- If you are carrying a handbag or wallet, make sure it is securely fastened and carry it in front of you or in a front pocket.
- Be vigilant and try not to be distracted in large crowds or busy spaces.
- Do not leave purchases on display in your vehicle. Store all purchases out of sight and ensure your vehicle is locked. Park in a well lit area or attended car park.
- Report any suspicious activity to us on 101.
If you are out and about this Christmas there are simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of being a victim of theft:
Be aware and vigilant of your surroundings and the people around you. Pay particular attention to your valuables if a stranger talks to you, bumps into you, offers you something or tries to distract you.
Only carry what you need and don’t carry large amounts of cash.
If you are using an ATM, be aware of who is around you. Conceal your pin number as you input it and put your card and cash away safely before leaving the ATM.
If you notice anything suspicious about the ATM or you feel uncomfortable with any of the people standing near by, do not use the ATM.
Keep all valuables out of sight.
Keep your house and car keys in your pocket, rather than in your bag.
If you are carrying a handbag, make sure it is securely fastened and carry it in front of you. Wallets should be carried in front pockets.