Shopping Spree

With Christmas around the corner, people are heading to the highstreets to start the biggest, most expensive, and most challenging shop of the year. The towns are full of people in their hundreds attempting to get the best bargains and fill all of their family’s stockings which can leave them in a spin. This state of panic leaves you forgetting the important things like your security which is more at risk over the festive period not just at home but also whilst you are on your Christmas shop.

The first thing to remember when doing your Christmas shop is to stay calm. If you give into the stress of the crowds it can make you vulnerable to thieves at work in the area targeting people distracted by the festivities. Pick-pockets take to the streets looking for people who have open pockets, unzipped bags and a careless attitude. When you are out shopping always return your purse straight to your bag after paying for your items, do not slip it into your pockets whilst you quickly move to the shop next door and don’t wait until you are outside the shop when you are more vulnerable. Also keep an eye on your shopping bags and personal items at all times. If you choose to put your bags down do not leave them unsupervised and keep track of what you have purchased in case anything goes missing.

Thieves working on the streets and burglars targeting houses will look at people’s shopping bags as a signal to whether that person or their property is worth pursuing. It is common to assume someone with a large number of bags have a lot to steal and if they are branded, they can look for specific valuable items like jewellery or technology. To avoid giving away what you have purchased you can use large carrier tote bags or bags for life available in supermarkets, you will also reduce the appearance of having a large amount of shopping with you by putting everything you have purchased together in this one bag. This is also a great way to deter your family from working out where you have purchased their presents from if they are home when you return from shopping trip.

Your shopping bags are vulnerable to criminals from the moment you leave the shop to the point you return home so you must ensure the transition is as quick and secure as possible. Lots of people will return to their vehicle half way through their shopping trip to lighten their load but you should never leave items in your car especially if you are parked in a shopping district where car thefts targeting shoppers are more common. You should also never leave your bags in your car overnight to stop your family from finding your purchases, instead ask them to close their eyes and hide them somewhere safe at home. Once home you should remember all your usual security needs such as securing your windows, locking doors and using a home security system.

Whilst shopping for your family over the Christmas period you can sometimes lose track of what you have bought and most people have been victim to accidentally buying the same present twice. Keep a note of all of your purchases during the lead up to Christmas as this could act as list to hand over to the investigating parties in the event of a burglary. Keep the receipts in a secure place away from the purchases or shred them because proof of purchase makes them easy to sell on and therefore more valuable to a burglar. For the same reason, remove any packaging or labels that prove they are brand new and unused. If the items are of significant value consider speaking to your home insurance company and adjusting your policy whilst you are storing gifts.

It might seem like a long and tiresome task but once your present shopping is done you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the joys that come with this time of year, but always remember to think of your security and put your personal safety first to ensure your peace of mind this Christmas.

For more advice on a Smart outlook to your security, visit our website where you can let us know what you’d like to learn about in the next blog – now that is Smart.

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