Don’t let thieves spoil your Christmas
Top tips to remain safe and crime-free over the festive period
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, make sure they are not on display. Even small belongings can be tempting to a thief. Never think
leaving items in the boot is safe either. Who is to say someone didn’t see you leave them there?
Help drive thieves’ crackers this Christmas by giving extra thought to your personal and vehicle security. When considering
where to park, look for a well lit, busy area. For additional security look out for the Park Mark security approved car parks
Never leave your keys in the ignition while your vehicle is unattended, even for a few minutes. Thieves will steal cars that have been left with the engine running to defrost the windows
Property mark presents and valuables with your postcode, house number or name, then register on http://www.immobilise.com.
Make a note of all model numbers and serial numbers of all electrical items
Keep presents out of view – placing presents in plain view of windows will only draw attention to your house and its contents
Be cautious when using social media such as Facebook. Do you really want to advertise that your home is empty by showing you are somewhere else or having a countdown to your holiday?
Invest in a timer to open and close your curtains or turn on your lights, or better yet, ask a family member or neighbour to pop in and do it at random times of the day so a potential thief does not see an exact pattern
Dispose of boxes and rubbish discreetly. Leaving boxes outside will give away the fact that you have new and valuable items in the house
Don’t drink and drive and remember you may still be over the limit the morning after
When Christmas shopping, be aware of how much you are carrying with you. iPods, digital cameras, mobile phones, and extra
cash to buy presents means you could be the ideal target for thieves
When you are out and about at Christmas, don’t leave your bag unattended. Keep your purse safe in an internal pocket and don’t carry your pin number with you
Don’t leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers. It takes a matter of seconds for someone to tamper with your drink
Have you ever considered getting a personal safety alarm? Don’t allow threats of crime to intimidate you into never going anywhere alone; just be aware of what’s going on around you and be confident that you can keep safe
Plan your journey home. If you use a taxi, ensure it is registered. If you have to walk home, try and walk with a friend, stick to well lit and busy streets, and make sure someone knows the route you are taking
Have a happy and crime-free Christmas from
West Berkshire Safer Communities Partnership