Thieves take advantage of us at this time of year as they know we may be distracted. So avoid leaving Christmas shopping unattended in the car for long periods and take care of your handbags, wallets and mobile phones.

There are further steps that can be taken to reduce the risks this Christmas:

• Wherever the celebration – everyone should promote safe behaviour

• Drink alcohol responsibly

• Never drink and drive, no matter the time of the day.

• Plan your night out, tell someone where you’re going & when you’ll be back

• Don’t let your friends or family walk home alone, there is safety in numbers. If you have to, walk in well lit areas and make sure you can be seen by passing traffic (reflective gear/torch).

• Take care when carrying your handbag, smart phone or tablet in crowded areas, keep them in a safe location within view.

• Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas; Keep handbags zipped and don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. In bars and restaurants take care about where you store coats and handbags.

• Take care of your Christmas shopping and never leave it unattended, especially in your car.

• Park and lock your car in secure, well lit areas. Keep valuables including bags and coats hidden.

• Avoid burglaries – Lock Up and Light Up, and use your alarm when the house is vacant and when home at night.

• Don’t leave Christmas presents in view from the outside of your home.

• If you’re expecting deliveries, always make sure someone is there to collect it or arrange for a trusted neighbour to take it in. Tell neighbours/friends if you will be away for an extended period over the Christmas holidays.

Brought to you from our Risk Department 045 872090