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Christmas Shopping Safety

Christmas Shopping Safety

Tuesday 16th November 2021

Christmas is just over a month away and with that, now is the time when many people will be hitting the shops to do some seasonal shopping, and hitting the shops hard at that! This time of year is the busiest season for shops and unfortunately with that it is also the perfect time of year for thieves. Furthermore, the disorientation and distraction which is caused by the hustle, bustle and loud noises of the shops gives these thieves the perfect cover. Because of this, police forces begin issuing increased crime prevention messages to inform shoppers of the risks that are associated with Christmas shopping.

In this blog, we will be sharing with you our top tips for helping to prevent theft of personal items and to help you keep your belongings safe.

1. Be wary of people who are loitering around cash machines
One of the common things that thieves have been known to do is tamper with cash machines as well as steal things such as credit cards and bank cards. This is especially prominent at Christmas as they know that people will be withdrawing large sums of money to shop and give as gifts to friends and loved ones. Furthermore, when you are entering your PIN number, ensure that you cover the keypad with your hand and watch who is around you as thieves have been known to loiter nearby and watch or even install hidden cameras into the top of ATM machines.

2. Consider making your biggest purchases last on your list
If you intend on making a particularly valuable purchase, you should consider doing so at the end of your shopping trip. This will mean that you don't have to walk around with an expensive item and therefore there is less chance of it becoming lost or stolen. If you have to purchase it early on for whatever reason, some stores offer the service of holding onto the item for you until you have finished shopping. This service is recommended as it means that you can pick up the item on your way back to your car.

3. Don't leave your shopping on view
In some cases, you may find it necessary to take your shopping back to your car before you head out shopping again. Doing this will allow you to free up your hands for more shopping. However, if you do, do this be sure to conceal your shopping in your car so that any prospective thieves don't see it as an easy target. The best place to store your shopping is locked in the boot where it is secure and out of sight.

4. Keep your bags secure to prevent 'purse dippers'
Open bags are an easy target for pickpockets as they often contain valuable items such as purses, wallets, keys and mobile phones. This can easily be prevented by keeping your bag fastened shut and secure at all times. Women should keep the catch on their handbags facing in towards their body for maximum protection and men should keep items such as phones and wallets in their front trouser pocket, not the outer jacket pocket.

5. Park your vehicle in an area which is well lit
At this time of year, the nights draw in much more quickly and sometimes when you are parking in the daytime it can be easy to forget this. This is why it is important to park in an area which is well lit and where you are visible to the public to ensure both the safety of you and of your belongings. If it is possible to do so, park in car parks of big shopping centres as they generally have better lighting and security.