Staffordshire Police are offering crime prevention advice while your out Christmas shopping in busy areas
- Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you, especially in busy shops and crowded streets where thieves and pickpockets may well be operating.
- Keep valuables in inside pockets of clothing or bags. Keep a close watch on them, and try not to keep them all in one place.
- Only carry the cash and cards that you need. Always shield the PIN pad when entering your PIN.
- Be careful where you park your car, especially if you will be returning to it after dark. If parking in a multi-storey car park, choose a well-lit space as close to the exit as possible and away from pillars. Reverse into position. Visit www.parkmark.co.uk for details of approved car parks.
- Avoid going back to your car to leave your shopping part-way through your trip. If you have to keep presents in the car, make sure they are out of view in the boot, the car is locked, and keep the receipts with you.
- Deter pickpockets and muggers. Don’t overburden yourself with bags/packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Always carry a purse close to your body and not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket, likewise with your phone and keys.
- Try and avoid taking young children into busy shopping areas. If it is unavoidable make sure they know what to do if they lose you e.g. tell the nearest counter assistant that they are lost and never leave a shop without you. Agree a meeting point with older children, in case you get separated.
- Never leave your bag unattended on your trolley whilst shopping and don’t leave it in your vehicle when returning your trolley.
- Don’t get loaded down with too many bags. Try to keep one hand free.
Keep car doors locked whilst driving in built-up areas, especially if you’ve got bags or presents in the car.