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Crime Prevention Tips for Christmas 2017

Alert message sent 04/12/2017 16:06:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

This is a message from the Reading Neighbourhood Policing Teams please follow the simple crime prevention steps to stop the festive thieves:

  • Before you leave your car, ensure all windows and doors are close and locked and avoid leaving your purchases and presents in your vehicle. If you do make sure they are not on display. Even small belongings can be tempting to a thief. Never think leaving items in the boot is safe either, who is to say someone didn't see you leave them there?
  • Help drive thieves’ crackers this Christmas by giving extra thought to your personal and vehicle security. When considering where to park, look for a well-lit, busy area. For additional security look out for the Park Mark security approved car parks.
  • Never leave your keys in the ignition while your vehicle is unattended, even for a few minutes. Thieves will steal cars that have been left with the engine running to defrost the windows.
  • Property mark presents and valuables with your postcode, house number or name, then register on make a note of all model numbers and serial numbers of all electrical items.
  • Keep presents out of view – placing presents in plain view of windows will only draw attention to your house and its contents.
  • Be cautious when using social media such as Facebook – do you really want to advertise that your home is empty by showing you are somewhere else or having a countdown to your holiday?
  • Invest in a timer to open and close your curtains or turn on your lights, or better yet, ask a family member or neighbour to pop in and do it at random times of the day so a potential thief does not see an exact pattern. Please don’t leave any windows or doors insecure and double lock your UPVC doors overnight.  Also visit for further crime prevention advice  Please report any suspicious incidents, sightings or any information to The Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101, encourage friends, family and neighbours to sign up to receive these messages at

Dispose of boxes and rubbish discreetly. Leaving boxes outside will give away the fact that you have new and valuable items in the house.

  • Don’t drink and drive and remember you may still be over the limit the morning after.
  • When Christmas shopping, be aware of how much you are carrying with you. IPods, digital cameras, mobile phones, and extra cash to buy presents means you could be the ideal target for thieves.
  • When you are out and about at Christmas, don’t leave your bag unattended, keep your purse safe in an internal pocket, and don’t carry your pin number with you.
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers. It takes a matter of seconds for someone to tamper with your drink.
  • Have you ever considered getting a personal safety alarm? Don’t allow threats of crime intimidate you into never going anywhere alone, just be aware of what’s going on around you and be confident that you can keep safe.
  • Plan your journey home. If you use a taxi, ensure it is registered. If you have to walk home, try and walk with a friend, stick to well-lit and busy streets, and make sure someone knows the route you are taking.
  • If using decorative lights make sure they meet British Standards and are in good working order and switch them off at night and when you go out.
  • Candles are often used during celebrations and festivals – never leave them burning unattended or close to curtains or other objects that could catch fire.
  • Is your web browser security set to the highest level? Examples of web browsers are Internet explorer, Firefox, Mozilla.
  • Use the latest version of the web browser for added security. Use automatic updates to keep your computer and web browser security up-to-date
  • Is there a padlock symbol at the bottom of the web browser and ‘https’ at the start of the web address? If they are not there don’t enter any bank or card details
  • Print out electronic receipts and keep them in a safe place.
  • Check bank and card statements to make sure the details match.
  • Never give out your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to anyone – this includes anyone who claims to be from your bank.

If you are a victim of internet fraud, report it by calling your bank or Credit Card Company directly. They will verify the crime and report it to

Message sent by
Liz Herbert (Police, NHW & Community Messaging Co-ordinator, Reading LPA)

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