How to avoid being a victim of crime over Christmas

Sergeant Lesley Meenaghan
Sergeant Lesley Meenaghan

Roof-running louts reported in Cowplain

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Lesley Meenaghan from Gosport’s neighbourhood police gives advice on how to avoid being a victim of crime this Christmas

People finish work, spend more time with their children, friends and family.

The downside of this celebration and the holiday period is that it presents an opportunity for thieves to strike and break into your property to commit crimes that can have an impact on your personal safety, your home and your Christmas presents.

Here are my tips to keep safe this Christmas:

Personal Protection – Keeping yourself safe is the number one priority at anytime.

Around Christmas there is an increase in work parties and socialising with friends and family which presents an increased risk of becoming a victim of crime.

To stay safe over the festive season we would recommend that you try to keep within a group and moderate your drinking. Keeping your wits about you will decrease the risk of crime.

Book a taxi or a lift – stick to public areas so that people are aware of you and don’t walk in unlit areas.

Home Protection – many people like to visit friends and relatives or go on a holiday to enjoy some winter sun.

When leaving your home unattended make sure to lock the doors and windows to ensure no-one can gain easy access to the home, set your alarm and security and keep presents out of view.

Dispose of boxes and rubbish – Leaving big boxes outside will give away the fact that you have new large, valuable items in the house. Break down boxes and take them to the tip.

Presents/Christmas Shopping

Pay with a card – carrying large amounts of cash could see you out-of-pocket if you lose it, it is stolen or it is misplaced.

Keep your wallet or purse close to hand.

Do not leave presents on display in your vehicle – this entices potential thieves to damage your car and also steal your belongings which would be devastating.

If you have to store them in the car, place them in a covered boot area under a parcel shelf and keep them out of sight.

Most of these tips are obvious, and if you stick by them you should be able to enjoy the holidays without any worry or hassle.

Report any suspicious incident or person immediately.

Contact the police by calling 101.

For more tips go to hampshire.police.uk/internet/news-and-appeals/campaigns/safer-christmas/ or follow @HantsPolice on Twitter.