For the majority of people the Christmas festive season is one of celebration and enjoyment. People finish work and can let their hair down to celebrate and spend more time with their children, friends and family. The downside of all this celebration and the Christmas period is that it presents a massive opportunity for would be thieves to strike and break into your property and also carry out many crimes that can have an impact on your personal security, business safety and the most obvious one, your Christmas presents.
Insight’s guide on Christmas Crime Prevention Tips should help you to increase safety and security to prevent you becoming a victim of a festive crime. We have broken this down into four main Christmas Crime Prevention areas;
- Personal Protection
- Home Protection
- Business Protection
- Presents/Christmas Shopping
Keeping yourself safe is the number one priority at anytime regardless of the season or holiday period. If you keep yourself safe you can help others. Around Christmas there is a massive increase in work parties and socialising with friends and family which presents an increased risk of becoming a victim of Christmas crime. To stay safe over the festive season we would recommend that you:
- Try and keep within a group – Keeping with a number of people won’t leave you vulnerable to the types of crimes that are aimed towards individuals and will mean that other people can also keep an eye on you and vice versa. Safety in numbers is an old saying that means always stick together and don’t leave any members of your group behind at anytime.
- Drink in moderation – It is easier said than done however when you drink more alcohol than usual you can lose your inhibitions and act out of character which in itself could present you with a dangerous situation. Keeping your wits about you will decrease the risk of crime. Always take your drink wherever you go to prevent the chances of it being spiked and keep an eye on anybody offering to buy you a drink to ensure it is not tampered with.
- Book a Taxi or a lift – Organising a lift home or booking a taxi before going out over Christmas will ensure that you get home safely and are not putting yourself in a position where you do not recognise the hire company, driver or area especially if you are out-of-town. Always try and catch transport in numbers.
- Keep in the spotlight – If you cannot stay in a group for whatever reason for the whole night or day always try to stick to public areas so that people are aware of you and don’t walk down unlit areas that can leave you susceptible to danger.
Keeping your home safe will increase the safety factor of not only your property but also your personal safety and Christmas presents/shopping so it is of paramount importance.
- Many people like to visit friends and relatives or even go on a holiday to enjoy some winter sun, when leaving your home unattended always make sure to lock the doors and windows as a first port of call to ensure no one can gain easy access to the home.
- Set your alarm and security
- Close/Open the curtains and turn on lights regularly – This can be difficult but if you have a neighbour or family member you can trust they could quite easily do this at random times so a potential thief does not see an exact pattern to the houses lights and curtains opening/closing or being switched on and off. A timer can also control the lights.
- Keep presents out of view – Placing presents in plain view of windows will only draw attention to your house and its contents, keep presents away from public view as best as possible.
- Dispose of boxes and rubbish discreetly – 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.
A lot of the rules and tips that apply for Home Protection are the same however here are a couple of vital business security tips.
- All Businesses, depending on the industry will more than likely be closing for a least the main Christmas holiday days up to two weeks. During this time it is essential to make sure the property remains secure and that you know who holds keys, alarm codes and access to the building. This will prevent staff with keys you were unaware of potentially loosing them and opening up the risk of someone breaking in. Keeping a key holder list and having a secure copy of who has security details will help the police if there is any crime which can help with asset recovery. If you employ security staff ensure both you and the staff know the work rota and it is written down in black and white.
- Regularly visit the business property – This will ensure that you can safeguard the building, contents and anything else that has worth to your company.
Right from buying the presents through to transporting them home to storing them, there are some vital considerations to think about.
- Pay with a Visa or Debit card – Carrying large amounts of cash could see you out-of-pocket if you lose it, it is stolen or it is misplaced, lost money cannot in most instances be recovered, using a VISA or Bank Debit Card will ensure that any false transactions can be refunded, keep everything recorded in case of theft at any stage which will help with insurance should you need to claim for stolen presents.
- Keep your wallet, purse and belongings close to hand – Zip pockets will keep a wallet or purse safe, keeping your handbag and present bags close to hand in your line of visibility will also increase their safety.
- Do not leave presents on display in your vehicle – This entices potential thief’s to damage your car and also steal your belongings which would be devastating to anybody. 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 the above Christmas Crime Prevention Tips seem obvious, they are and if you stick by them you should be able to enjoy the Christmas season without any worry or hassle.
Insight wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!