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23 July 2008

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 Reduce the chance of Christmas crime

News | Community

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.

To cheer 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 15 billion.

  • The amount specifically spent on Christmas purchases is estimated to increase by 10% to just over 11 billion.

  • 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 million.

  • 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.

November 2006




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