Top Tips to Stay Safe this Christmas
Gavin Wilson, Head of Risk Advisory Services gives us his top tips to stay safe during this Christmas period.
If you are going away during the holiday period and your home will be left unoccupied here are some useful tips to deter burglary:
- Talk to your neighbours (if you think you can rely on them!) and make sure they know how to reach you, if they have to.
- If possible, have someone clear your mail box and ensure mail is not stuck in the letterbox, take your rubbish bins out (and back in) etc
- Lighting is key. Have lights (external and internal) that come on periodically.
- Partially close blinds and curtains to create the impression that your home is occupied at night, but in use during the day.
- If you do not have a home alarm system, consider investing in a wireless deployable CCTV camera. Position the camera in a location that will ensure anyone accessing your home will be spotted, such as an adjoining hallway. These are very cheap, easy to install, and can be setup to send an alert and images to your mobile phone.
If you are planning on holidaying abroad it is completely possible to have fun whilst taking measures to avoid trouble.
- Know before you go:
- Impending weather events.
- Current issues (e.g. protests, airport closures etc…).
- Current warnings.
- Understand and prepare for typical tourist crimes. Travel safety advice can be found on the uk website:
- Keep your belongings within touch (e.g. handbag on your lap or between your feet, instead of over the back of the chair at a café).
- Secure your passport.
- Keep an eye on your drinks and never accept them from friendly strangers. Glass covers can be brought from a number of retailers.
- Get advice on how (if) to use public transport and taxis.
- Know the location of medical centres and tourist advisory centres
Avoiding Personal Targeted Crime
Most criminals don’t want to get caught. To avoid that, they might look for a vulnerable target, spend time watching the target and use the element of surprise:
- Avoid appearing vulnerable. For instance, don’t be alone at night in isolated locations or look totally lost as you walk around.
- Remove their element of surprise through situational awareness. For instance, if going to an ATM at night, be switched on and alert to your surroundings.
- It is always better to listen to your instincts and be wrong, then it is to ignore them and be right.
- Remember – nothing you are carrying is worth your life
- Personal judgment will always be required but to respond to a hold-up/mugging:
- Comply – hand it over. The longer the crime takes, the greater the likelihood of being caught and the greater the likelihood of the criminal getting anxious and using violence.
- Create distance – whether it is running away or letting the mugger get away…get distance between you and them.
- Seek safety – look for something familiar, uniforms, brands (banks, restaurants etc…).
- Call for help.
We hope you have a joyful holiday and should you require any further advice please do reach out to the Risk Advisory Service via the Operational Support Centre
Head of Risk Advisory Services