Avoid the Christmas thief!

Ensure your Christmas cheer!

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LogoWith only a few weeks to Christmas here are some reminders to hopefully make your Christmas a safer one.

Christmas is a busy time of year for everyone, including the criminal. A high percentage of crime is opportunistic so Cheshire Police are seeking your assistance this Christmas in preventing this type of crime from happening.

Christmas Shopping

  • Make sure your card isn’t a gift for pickpockets. When the shops are crowded they have more chance to steal from you.

  • Keep your purse or wallet close to your body and never in your back pocket or the top of a handbag.

  • Try to pay using a debit card rather than carrying lots of cash.

  • Always keep your PIN number secret and be aware who is around when you keying in the PIN or are withdrawing cash from a machine.

  • Never leave credit or debit receipts lying around – some of them carry your card details.

  • Keep cheque books and cheque cards separate and never write down your PIN number.

  • Always use a secure and well lit car park and never leave shopping bags, or anything else, on display in your car.

  • If you use a remote button to lock the car, check that it has actually locked the car before leaving it.

Personal Safety

  • Try to plan your evening in advance.

  • Get your cash out of the ATM during daylight hours.

  • Make arrangements to get home safely – check timetables or programme the number of a reputable taxi firm into your phone.

  • Use available public transport or pre-book a taxi rather than walking home.

  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back.

  • Advise children not to take mobile phones, MP3s or iPods out in the street on Christmas Day. Others could jump from behind and steal property.

  • Make sure new bicycles are left secure. Never leave cycles on the front driveway insecure and unattended.

  • Never carry large amounts of cash. Children spending Christmas gift money should not take all their money out in one go.

  • Never write down PIN numbers or keep them in wallets and handbags along with bank cards.

  • Passing stolen goods to the unsuspecting; If you are offered a quality product at a bargain price ensure the source in genuine.

Home Security

  • Leaving presents under the tree in full view from outside can attract the attention of thieves – keep them out of sight until Christmas day.

  • If you store larger items such as bikes in a shed or outer building make sure they are secure.

  • Once you’ve opened all your gifts, don’t leave the boxes on view outside to advertise your good fortune to criminals.

  • Always make sure doors and windows are locked. Use timer switches to bring lights and a radio on when the house is unoccupied especially in late afternoon.

  • Keep kitchen outside doors locked even if you are in the house to prevent sneak in thefts.

  • As a fire precaution don’t leave Christmas lights on whilst you are out.

  • If you go away for Christmas, cancel your milk and newspaper deliveries.

  • If you have a burglar alarm make sure it is in full working order and set before you go away.

  • Neighbours may be able to help you by collecting post, opening and closing curtains and invite them to occasionally park their car on your drive.

  • Genuine delivery personnel usually have uniforms and liveried vehicles and should not need to come into your home.

  • Only open the door at night after identifying the caller.

  • Avoid keeping large amounts of cash at home. Use a concealed safe if you must do so.

Vehicle crime

  • If you are taking your car on a Christmas shopping trip use well lit, secure car parks.

  • Make sure your vehicle has been prepared for bad weather just in case it snows or becomes icy over the festive season.

  • Always close windows, engage steering lock and lock all doors.

  • Don’t leave anything in your car, remove everything before you go shopping – including sat nav’s and car stereo’s.

  • Keep a record of your sat nav equipment serial numbers.

  • Open the parcel shelf and glove box to show there is nothing of value left in the vehicle.

  • Don’t return to your car to leave purchases in the boot before continuing with your shopping as thieves may watch car parks.

  • Never leave keys in the ignition even for a short period e.g. whilst popping into a local shop, on the driveway, on garage forcourts.

  • When at home keep your car keys hidden and away from doors, windows and letterboxes. Never leave car keys or handbags downstairs at night.

Have a happy and safe Christmas and a crime free New Year.

Watch Officer
Cheshire Police

Macclesfield Neighbourhood Policing Team 0845 458 6371
Police non-emergency number: 101

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