During the next week in particular many of us may be finishing off our Christmas shopping or delivering presents to friends and family. During this period please take extra care in terms of personal safety and vehicle security to ensure that you don't fall foul of opportunist thieves.
Whilst out shopping:
- Try and park in a well lit and safe place that you feel comfortable returning to if it has gone dark by the time you return to your vehicle
- Try and avoid returning to your car with bags of shopping mid trip and if you do have to do so be mindful of anyone suspicious people loitering around watching you put your items in your car.
- Keep an eye on how many shopping bags you have in total. It is easy to stop for a drink and leave one behind or for someone to sneak one away whilst you are talking / getting a drink.
- Take extra care not to leave anything on show in your vehicle. This can include shopping bags, parcels you might have picked up from the post office and Christmas Cards. The items may not be particular valuable but bear in mind a thief may take the chance to find out - they may hope to find some cash in a Christmas card or some newly bought items that they can sell on or pass off as their own gifts.
- As many of us finish our present shopping and go out food shopping be mindful of the security of your purses and wallets. During this time stores are much busier and it is easy to be jostled about more. Many of us are rushing around finishing jobs and it is easy to become more distracted than usual. Take extra time to ensure that you secure your purse / wallets back in a secure place - zipped in your handbag or in a zipped secure pocket - if you have a purse alarm or purse bell make sure you use it. Many people will be in a rush around you - don't be pressured into throwing your purse into a shopping back or not putting yourself in order because of someone tutting in a hurry behind you in a queue. Men - never carry your wallets in your back pocket as this is an extremely easy place for pick pockets to access without you being alerted.
Whilst Visiting Family / Delivering presents:
- If you are heading out to drop off presents ensure that if it is going to be dark that you switch a light on at home to make is seem as though someone is in.
- Many of us will load the car up with presents for several friends/family members and go on a present run. Ensure that any presents that aren't being dropped off at this stop are secured in the boot. Over the weekend - there has been an instance of wrapped presents that were left tucked under the drivers seat being taken from a vehicle in the Congleton area. As such it is important to remove them from sight altogether.
I sincerely hope that everyone will have an enjoyable and crime free festive period. However, as always, if anyone does have any issues or witnesses anything out of the ordinary or suspicious please contact Cheshire Police via 999 if an emergency (danger to life and limb/incident in progress) or via the non emergency number of 0845 458 0000 for all other incidents / concerns. If anyone wants to report anything anonymously, please contact Cheshire Crime Stoppers via 0800 555 111.