Festive Safety- Family decorating the treeYour local police and Sopley Parish Council would like you to enjoy the festive period. Please remember these valuable points to keep you and your property safe. Wishing all residents a Happy Christmas, stay safe everyone.

When Shopping:
• Make sure your handbag is closed and you carry so a pick-pocket would find it difficult to get into without you knowing.
• Never leave a bag unattended in a trolley, even if for a couple of seconds.
• Try and keep wallets in an inside pocket and out of sight from a potential pick-pocket.
• Keep your PIN number confidential.
• When entering your PIN number at a terminal ensure no one can see you enter it.
• Try to pay for items on a debit card rather than carrying large amounts of cash. If this is not possible keep cash to a minimum.
• Before you leave your car, ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked.
• Avoid leaving your purchases and presents in your vehicle. If you must make sure they are not on display, store in the boot and make sure the car is locked.
• Park your car in a well-lit car park, preferably one that’s attended or displays the Park Mark logo.
• Think about the item you are buying someone, are there any security products you could purchase to help them keep it safe. I.e. if buying a bike think about also giving a decent ‘D’ lock.
• When loading your car in a supermarket car park, keep an eye on your trolley. It only takes a moment for someone to walk by and take something from the top of your trolley, whilst you may be putting something in the car.
• Keep an eye on your shopping bags, there are many distractions.

It only takes a moment for someone to pick up one of your shopping bags and walk away with it.

At Cash-points:
• If you see someone suspicious hanging around, cancel the transaction and use another cash-point.
• Before inserting you card have a look at the machine to check it looks normal.
• When entering your PIN number make sure others around cannot see.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; only withdraw what you reasonably need.
• Put your money and your cards away safely before leaving the machine.

If you are out for the evening:

• Drink sensibly and stay with your friends.
• Plan in advance how you will get home.
• Save the number of a licensed taxi firm in your mobile phone. Always check the driver’s identification and never get into an unlicensed taxi. Text the licence plate number to a friend.
• Don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended.
• Whether you are male or female, avoid walking alone and never take short cuts through dark alleys or large open spaces.
• Keep your belongings with you and your valuables out of sight, never leave your bag hanging over a chair or personal items left unattended.
• Don’t drink and drive, and remember you may still be over the limit the morning after a big night out.
• If you suspect a drink driver or have any information about any crime, please do not hesitate to report either via 101 or Crime Stoppers 0800 555 111.

Also See: The 12 Frauds of Christmas and Festive Season Safety