Message sent by
Peter Kirwan (Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, Communications Officer, Scotland)
Sent on behalf of Police Scotland
Some tips for a safe and enjoyable festive period
Use cash machines in well lit, non-secluded areas and stay alert. Check the machine hasnít been tampered with, hide your PIN, beware of whoís behind you and keep your cash out of view.
When youíre out Christmas shopping, you might not realise how much all the presents youíre carrying around with you are worth Ė look after your shopping bags and donít leave them out of your view.
If youíre driving to the shops, park your car in a busy, well-lit area. Donít keep any presents youíve bought in the car for longer than you have to and always keep them out of view.
Ensure your bag is closed and your purse or wallet is not easily accessible when not being used.
Plan your Christmas night out Ė charge your mobile, remember to take it with you and think about how youíll get home.
Donít leave drinks unattended, be sensible about what you drink and pace yourself. A drunk person is a far more vulnerable target for a criminal.
Donít use drugs or New Psychoactive Substances, sometimes misleadingly called Ďlegal highsí. Legal doesnít mean safe Ė they can contain toxic and harmful chemicals. Why risk your life?
Stick with friends Ė donít leave nights out on your own or with strangers.
Stay safe on your journey home - never take isolated short cuts. Keep to busy areas and on public transport, sit where there are lots of other people. If youíre using a taxi, make sure itís licenced.
Thieves know that over Christmas there will be high value presents and maybe more cash in your house than normal. Keep your home secure - lock all windows and doors, donít eave gifts in view of the windows and keep cash in your home to a minimum.
If youíre going away for Christmas, keep your home secure. Lock all windows and doors, set your house alarm if you have one, use timers on lights, cancel any deliveries and sk a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye out while youíre away.
Protect any gifts youíve bought for your friends and family. Get them to register mobiles, tablets, laptops and cameras at www.immobilise.com. Donít give them a good quality bike without giving them a good quality lock, and register bikes at www.BikeRegister.com.
Think before you post photos of your Christmas night out online. What may seem funny in private could embarrass or humiliate someone in public. If in doubt, donít click!
When shopping online, make sure your web browser and internet security is up to date.
Check the website payment page is secure and look for the padlock in the address line before you enter any card details.
If youíre buying your child a mobile or tablet for Christmas, think about how you can keep them safe online.
Be careful about what you say on social networking sites - don't let thieves know when your home will be empty.
Talk to Police Scotland on Twitter, on Facebook or visit ttp://scotland.police.uk
For non-emergency calls dial 101. In an emergency always call 999.
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