With presents stacked under the tree and Christmas shopping loaded in car boots, the festive period can be a prevalent time for thieves to strike. Read our advice to help reduce the risk of having your presents stolen this Christmas:
Home security advice
Use a timer switch on a light or a fake TV unit if you’re leaving your home empty when it gets dark.
Keep presents away from windows where they can be seen by people passing by.
Don’t leave keys, money or other valuables on window sills or near the front door where they can be seen by passers by.
Keep presents secure – don’t store them in cars, sheds or garages.
Secure all windows and make sure PVCu doors are looked properly by lifting the handle and turning the key.
Ensure your burglar alarm is fully serviced and working correctly.
Consider fitting exterior ‘dusk to dawn’ security lights to illuminate your home.
Look out for your neighbours and ask them to keep an eye on your home when you go out or if you are going away.
Do not leave empty packaging on the drive that could identify expensive presents.
Crowded public places like shopping areas and busy pubs can attract pick pockets because they can steal personal items without you even knowing about it. Don’t give them the opportunity. Take care of your money and personal possessions using the following advice:
Use a handbag that can be closed properly - zipped up preferably - so that it is more difficult for someone to open it and reach in.
If you use a handbag with a strap, wear it across your body and not just over one shoulder so it is more secure.
Don't leave your handbag tucked under your chair or table where someone can grab it.
Consider using a purse lanyard which attaches your phone or purse/wallet to your bag or clothes.
If you do keep your purse in a shopping bag, put your purse at the bottom and not near the top, and use a shopping bag that can be closed if possible.
Be as secure with your mobile phone or iPod as you would your purse or wallet and ensure it is put away safely if you use it in the street. You can also register your valuables on the free online property database Immobilise (opens in a new window). That way, police have more chance of being able to return them to you if they're lost or stolen.
Men should keep their wallet in a front pocket rather than in their back pocket, making it harder for a thief to slip their hand in unnoticed.
Report incidents straight away - in an emergency, always dial 999.