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Follow these tips to enjoy a safe festive season

Crime prevention tips have been issued to reduce the risk of people becoming victims of crime this Christmas. The advice, from the Safer North Hampshire Community Safety Partnership*, is applicable whether people are relaxing at home, shopping for presents or enjoying a night out.

At home:
• Avoid leaving presents on display under the Christmas tree, especially if in view of a window, and ensure large amounts of cash or gift cards are not visible. Make sure windows and doors are locked, and remove keys from sight when leaving the house. Don’t leave large boxes advertising expensive new gadgets outside the house until bin day – take them to the tip or the recycling centre.

While shopping:
• Always park cars in a well-lit area, and ensure all doors and windows are closed and locked. Never leave purchases or presents on display in your vehicle – and ideally don’t leave anything in the boot.
• Avoid leaving bags unattended and make sure purses or wallets are secure at all times. If buying a valuable gift for someone, consider whether there are any additional security products to help keep it safe!
• New gifts and valuables can be registered on the Immobilise website – www.immobilise.com, where model and serial numbers, distinctive markings and photographs of the item can be logged. If later stolen and recovered by the police, this database can help reunite owners with property.

When on a night out:
• Avoid leaving bags unattended and always use table or bar hooks if available.
• Never leave a drink unattended – whilst rare, it can only take a few seconds for someone to tamper with it.
• Always plan your journey home and avoid walking alone. If using a taxi, ensure it is registered and displaying taxi license plates. If you are concerned that a taxi is not genuine, do not get in, and report it to the local authority licensing team.
• How much you drink on a night out can affect your decision making – never drink so much that you might endanger yourself.

Personal attack alarms are available from the Safer North Hampshire team free of charge – call or email using the details below.

Cllr Robert Tate, Chair of the Safer North Hampshire Community Safety Partnership, said: “Following these simple tips can help ensure we all have a safe and happy Christmas – we are urging everyone to pass this advice onto friends and family, and stay vigilant over the holiday period.”

For more information please contact 01252 774476 or email communitysafetyteam@communitysafetyteamnh.org.