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Stay safe this Christmas and New Year

With Christmas rapidly approaching here are a few seasonal tips to help keep you safe at home, whilst shopping and after Christmas too.

Leaving the house

  • Whenever leaving the house always ensure that your windows and doors are closed and locked. Don’t attract burglars to your home by leaving it in darkness
  • Lock gates to keep unwanted visitors from getting to the rear of your home
  • When you leave the house and find that your car is all iced up, never leave it unattended with the engine running to de-ice it. It only takes a second to steal your car and it would invalidate any insurance claim

Christmas shopping

  • When out Christmas shopping, park safely; never park in isolated, poorly lit or dark places - look for a Park Mark accredited car park
  • Check that your car is locked before you leave it and don’t leave valuables and gifts on display in your car
  • Keep your bags, handbags, wallets and mobile safe. Busy places make it easier for the sneak thief, so be alert at all times

Stay Safe Christmas New Year 1


  • Plan and Prepare: Before you leave to go out, plan your journey and the transport that you will be using. Consider what you might need in the way of money/cards and the time you’ll be home. Notify someone of your planned journey, who you are meeting and how you are going to get home. Consider whether you can travel home with a friend and ensure that you are aware of the time of the last bus/train
  • Watch what you put on social media - check your settings to ensure that you are not broadcasting details of when you are not at home with the world
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings
  • When out with friends look out for each other and consider travelling back together, or “checking in” when you each arrive home safely
  • Always call or book a cab or use a cab premises and never accept a lift from drivers on the street. Only black cabs can be hailed on the street so don’t ever hail a minicab without booking it in advance. Never accept a lift from a stranger
  • The Secured by Design Crime Prevention and Security Advice Hub contains personal safety guidance designed to help people travel, work, play and live safely and enjoy themselves whilst out. This advice can be viewed here

Christmas shopping online

Don’t get conned this Christmas…

  • Ask yourself if that’s too good to be true. Do you recognise the website? Trust the retailer? Is the price just too tempting? Remember – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • Always use a trusted website, and stick to their recommended payment process. Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar and check the domain name to ensure there’s an ‘s’ on the end of ‘http’ which indicates the site is secure
  • Fraudsters will list products for sale that don’t exist. Are all the images copied from a web search? Poor seller reviews? Being asked to make a payment outside of an auction site’s normal process? Treat an electronic payment like you would cash – don’t send one to somebody you don’t know and trust
  • Only buy gift cards from a reputable retailer, or direct from the company they’re for. Scammers offering discounted gift cards might well be selling you one they've already used
  • Having parcels delivered, but may be out? Make sure that you make suitable secure delivery arrangements to reduce the risk of theft

Stay Safe Christmas New Year 2

Christmas gifts

In the lead up to Christmas…

  • Don’t leave presents and valuables on full view in front of a window
  • If you need to store Christmas food and drink, presents and other goodies within garages and outbuildings, ensure what you are storing is out of sight and that the building is securely locked with good quality well fitted locks. Think about installing a shed alarm

After Christmas…

  • Remember to install/activate tracking and security apps on relevant electrical and computer products
  • Mark your products using a police recognised property marking product. Property marking is a simple and effective way to protect valuables, making them far less attractive to thieves by both reducing the potential to sell them on and dissuading an offender from its theft by realising that the item can be easily linked to the scene of a crime. It also makes it easier for the police to trace the rightful owner of possessions. Police Preferred property marking schemes must also include a register or a manufacturers’ database
  • After Christmas don’t advertise your nice gifts to thieves by putting the empty boxes out for collection, disguise them, fold them up inside out or put them inside another non-descript box
  • Watch what you put on social media - check your settings to ensure that you are not broadcasting details of the lovely gifts you may have received to the world

Have a Great Christmas and New Year!

For further crime prevention advice, visit Secured by Design’s Crime Prevention and Security Advice Hub.