Warning to stay secure while shopping

WITH the Christmas shopping season now in full swing, Tayside Police is warning shoppers to beware of the possibility of theft.

People are being encouraged to take care of their personal security, their cash, belongings and purchases and seasonal trends highlight a noticeable increase in opportunistic crimes at this time of year with wallets, purses, bags and other unattended property favourite targets.

Newly bought gifts have also been stolen from cars after being left in plain sight, from unattended shopping bags, or from under a Christmas tree within an unsecured homes.

Police are appealing to everyone to adopt a common sense approach to safety and security. Wallets, purses or cash should be safely out of sight when shopping; women should keep their purses in their handbags and keep bags zipped or fastened shut and close to them at all times. Handbags should never be left on a supermarket shopping trolley, or in an unlocked car while returning a trolley.

When queuing at cash machines, people should not allow anyone to see their secure details and should not walk away from the machine with cash in hand. If possible, avoid carrying large sums of cash when shopping. Credit and debit cards are a safer option and, unlike cash, can be cancelled if lost or stolen.

All car doors should be locked and property should never be in open view. Remove it from the vehicle or lock it out of sight in the boot. Portable sat nav systems should also be removed from the car and drivers should also remove the cradle and suction pads, wiping away suction marks from the windscreen or dashboard. Use an alarm or immobiliser if the vehicle has one. If not, consider having one fitted. People should get in to the habit of always locking the car doors every time they leave the car, whether on the garage forecourt, outside a shop, or unloading the car or defrosting it outside the home address.

Anyone who witnesses a crime or suspicious incident should call Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222.