Criminals take the opportunities
afforded them by the extra shopping we do.
The hustle and bustle of
town centres as we rush around and the value of the goods we buy as
presents and store in our homes until the big day.
We might also be more trusting and
generous at Christmas when requests for charity are made, giving the
unscrupulous a chance to collect for their own causes.
So what can you do?
Out Shopping - when the shops are crowded, the
pickpocket has more chance to steal from you and we have had quite a
few incidents reported to us in the last couple of weeks. Be extra
careful with your wallet or purse in the City Centre or large
shopping areas. If you have too many bags you will be too busy
trying to hold on to these to be aware of anyone stealing from you.
Always keep your handbag/wallet close to your body. Try not to
return to your car to leave purchases in the boot before continuing
with your shopping trip as thieves do watch the car parks. Arrange
to collect items from stores when you have finished all your
shopping, this is a much safer option. NEVER leave presents on
display in your vehicle. The Community Safety Team have been working
hard to make sure posters are positioned in the major car parks in
town to remind everyone to remove all valuables from their vehicles.
At Home - Keep
presents out of sight until last thing on Christmas Eve and if you
'hide' or store larger items such as bicycles
in the shed or outbuildings, make sure they are very secure. Take
the frame numbers of new cycles and the serial numbers of new
electrical equipment. Remember empty boxes left outside advertise
that you have new goods inside - dispose of packing carefully.
Strangers at the Door
- Charity collectors will have identification and will not be
offended if you ask to see it. If you are not sure but want to make
a donation, ask whether these can be made in other ways.
you up, here are some of the latest Christmas facts and figures from
the British Retail Consortium:
It is estimated that £33 billion
will be spent in December, an increase of 6% from 2005.
The amount spent in the two
weeks leading up to Christmas is estimated to rise by 8% to over
The amount specifically spent on
Christmas purchases is estimated to increase by 10% to just over
This year, each person will
spend an average of £390 on Christmas gifts, up 18% on 2005. The
most popular gifts this year are music and clothes, with gift
vouchers, books and cosmetics and fragances all making it into
the top five. The top children's toy is predicted to be the "Bratz
- Forever Diamondz".
On average, each household will
spend approximately £163 on food and drink, up only 2% since
2005. This pushes the average cost of the Christmas lunch up to
almost £14 per head from £12 in 2005.
It is estimated that more than
10 million turkeys will be sold this year, worth almost £400
Approx 7 million Christmas trees
will be sold this year worth an estimated £245 million.
An estimated £160 million worth
of Christmas decorations were imported into the UK during 2006
to meet consumer demand with each household spending an average
of £25 a year on decorations.