The following Holiday Safety Tips were compiled, by the SRPD Crime Prevention Section, to contribute to the safety and security of people during the holiday season.
The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. We can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors.
Driving Avoid driving alone or at night. Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device. If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area. Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked. Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside. Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight. Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car. Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door. When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings. Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
Shopping Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member. Dress casually and comfortably. Avoid wearing expensive jewellery. Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible. Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible. Keep cash in your front pocket. Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit.
Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
At Home Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes. Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied. Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
Strangers at Your Door Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts. It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved. Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate. Donate to a recognized charitable organization.
Hosting a Party Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests. Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests. Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all.
Attending a Party Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages. Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body. Know your safe limit. Never drink and drive.