Tis the season to be merry – but law-abiding shoppers aren’t the only ones stocking up for the holidays. Criminal activity usually increases at this time of year, and the last thing you want is to be a target.
Here are some steps you can take to stay safe this festive season.
- Avoid cash in transit vans wherever possible. If you see one parked in your local shopping mall when you arrive, park away from it or do your shopping elsewhere.
- Always check that your car is locked – never assume.
- Keep your wallet or handbag close to you. Always be aware of where your valuables are. Don’t leave your handbag in an unattended trolley.
- If you can, leave the kids at home. Distracted shoppers are an easier target.
- If a stranger tries to strike up a conversation with you, be aware of where your wallet is. Pickpockets use distraction to their advantage.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Take note of any vehicles behind you when you’re on your way from shopping. If you think you’re being followed, rather drive to your nearest police station.
- Never leave your shopping visible in your car. Keep everything in the boot.
- Beware of your bling. Sometimes it’s better to leave your Rolex or your flashy jewelry at home.
- If you hear gunshots, get as close to the ground as possible. Try to take cover behind something solid, such as a pillar.
- If you do find yourself in a situation with armed criminals, don’t try to be a hero. Don’t resist their demands or make eye contact.