With just two shopping weekends left before Christmas, police in Suffolk are advising people to take extra care when out and about as shoppers flock to town centres in a bid to snap up gifts.
Shoppers are being urged to be vigilant of thieves and to keep wallets, purses, and other valuables out of sight, and bags secure - especially in crowded areas.
They’re also reminded not to leave their purchases on view in their car.
Alan Osborne, Community Safety Manager for Suffolk Police, said: “Christmas shopping can be great fun, but it’s important not to let your guard down, especially at such a busy time.
“Make sure your car is kept locked at all times and in a secure car park if possible.
“Don’t carry a large amount of cash with you and be careful when you’re drawing out money from ATMs – and never keep your PIN number with your bank card.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk Police, said: “The build up to Christmas is a fun time providing you keep yourself safe.
“I do hope people will heed the simple, commonsense advice that the Constabulary is giving this year and make sure they do all they can to avoid putting themselves at risk.
“Whether you are shopping in town or on the internet the advice is to keep alert and have fun.”
Suffolk Police have also issued advice to online shoppers, to help prevent them becoming a victim of fraud this Christmas.
Advice includes making sure that your computer security is up to date and only dealing with reputable sellers.
Detective Superintendent Steve Mattin said: “Shoppers can find great bargains online ahead of Christmas and this time of year provides a welcome boost to retailers but shoppers should remember if something looks too good to be true it probably is.
“I would urge people to stay vigilant to ensure they don’t lose their hard-earned money on fakes and frauds.”
For further advice about how to stay safe this Christmas, visit: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/safetyadvice/christmassafety.aspx
If you experience or witness a crime while out Christmas shopping, call 999 in an emergency, alternatively dial 101 to report it.