With Christmas a few weeks away and shopping areas get busies Police Scotland are urging the public to take of their personal security, their cash, belongings and purchases.
Seasonal trends highlight a noticeable increase in crimes of opportunity at this time of year, including the theft of wallets, purses and bags and other unattended property.
There is also the added heartbreak attached to newly bought gifts destined for loved ones at Christmas being stolen –whether from cars after being left in plain sight, from unattended shopping bags, or from under a Christmas tree within an insecure home.
Tayside Division appeal to everyone to make Christmas a misery for the opportunist thief by adopting a common sense approach to safety and security. Tips include:
Use cash machines in well lit, non-secluded areas and stay alert. Check the machine hasn’t been tampered with, hide your PIN, beware of who’s behind you and keep your cash out of view.
When out Christmas shopping look after your shopping bags and don’t leave them out of your view.
When driving to the shops, park your car in a busy, well-lit area. Don’t keep any presents you’ve 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.
All car doors should be locked and property should never be in open view.
Portable sat nav systems should be removed from the car if it is being left unoccupied and drivers should also remove the cradle and suction pads and remember to wipe any suction marks from the windscreen or dashboard.
Use an alarm or immobiliser if the vehicle has one.
Get in to the habit of always locking the car doors every time they leave the car, whether on the garage forecourt, outside a shop, or unloading the car or defrosting it outside the home address.
An opportunist thief can strike in seconds.