There are a number of things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of crime when you are away from the home.
It’s not only retailers that are happy to receive your hard-earned cash, thieves and con artists are on the look-out for opportunities on the high street to take your money as well. What can you do to stay safe when you’re out shopping?
- Try to pay using a debit card rather than carrying large amounts of cash.
- Take extra care when using a cashpoint or chip and pin – cover the keypad with your hand.
- Never write down your pin number.
- If you carry a handbag, keep your purse at the bottom of it.
- Never keep your wallet in your back pocket.
- Keep your handbag zipped at all times – crowded shopping areas are very popular with pickpockets.
- Don’t leave any bags, including your handbag, in the shopping trolley while you shop.
- Stay alert when using your mobile. It’s very easy for someone to snatch it out of your hand.
- Don’t return to your car to leave purchases in the boot before continuing with your shopping, as thieves can watch in car parks.
- Don’t leave valuables on the seat of your car – they attract thieves.
- Don’t leave your house keys in your car.
Thieves are often watching for homes that look empty, particularly during school holidays, as they know this is a popular time to go away. Follow our advice to help prevent your household falling victim to burglars:
- Make your home look like someone is living in it, e.g. don’t close your curtains. In daytime this shows your house is empty. Also, use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it goes dark.
- Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries.
- Trusted neighbors may be able to help you by collecting your post or parking their car on your driveway.
- Try not to take a taxi to the airport. If you do, use a taxi company you can rely on, don’t discuss your holiday plans and make it sound like you have a house-sitter, whether you do or not.
- Leave important documents and valuable items with other family members or a bank. Alternatively lock them in a safe.
- Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination. A house number and postcode will suffice if you want to label your luggage.
- If you normally leave bicycles or similar items in your shed, consider putting them in the house.
- Make sure that you lock all outside doors and windows and set your burglar alarm if you have one.
- Don’t post public messages on social media that you’re away from home.