Christmas Crime Advice from Sussex Police

We’re working hard over Christmas to keep you and your family safe, but there are steps you can take to help us

When you’re out shopping

  • Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you, especially in busy shops and crowded streets where thieves and pickpockets may well be operating.
  • Keep valuables in inside pockets of clothing or bags. Keep a close watch on them, and try not to keep them all in one place.
  • Only carry the cash and cards that you need. Always shield the PIN pad when entering your PIN.
  • Be careful where you park your car, especially if you will be returning to it after dark.
  • Avoid going back to your car to leave your shopping part-way through your trip. If you have to keep presents in the car, make sure they are out of view in the boot, the car is locked, and keep the receipts with you.
  • Deter pickpockets and muggers. Don’t overburden yourself with bags/packages.
    Be extra careful with purses and wallets.
  • Always carry a purse close to your body and not dangling by the straps.
    Put a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket, likewise with your phone and keys.
  • Try and avoid taking young children into busy shopping areas. If it is unavoidable make sure they know what to do if they lose you e.g. tell the nearest counter assistant that they are lost and never leave a shop without you.
    Agree a meeting point with older children, in case you get separated.
  • Never leave your bag unattended on your trolley whilst shopping and don’t leave it in your vehicle when returning your trolley.

At home

  • Don’t leave presents under your Christmas tree if they are visible from windows or doors.
  • Never keep large amounts of cash at home.
  • Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Keys should always be kept out of sight and not left in doors or in view of windows.
  • Make your house look occupied, use a timer switch to operate lamps as it starts to get dark, leave a radio on.
  • Don’t open the door to anybody you don’t recognise. Not sure? Don’t open the door!

After you have opened your Christmas gifts

  • Burglars know that many households have new and often expensive, items in their homes following the December holidays especially items such as new tech such as tablets or laptops, mobile phones, music systems, televisions, cameras and other electronic equipment. In many cases, residents make it easy for burglars to figure out which homes to target by putting boxes that identify their new gifts in plain view with their other rubbish.
  • Avoid becoming an easy target for post-holiday burglars by not leaving boxes for new electronics and other items outside your wheelie bin.
    Break down any boxes you are throwing out and put them in rubbish bags and place them inside the wheelie bin.
  • With computer equipment, you might consider keeping the boxes for safe storage, shipping or moving in the future. Would they be useful as storage boxes?
  • Think about keeping broken-down boxes inside in a garage or loft.
  • Register your property securely and free of charge on the national property marking database www.immobilise.com

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Help us keep Sussex safe

Seen something suspicious or have information about a crime or incident? Please contact us online, email us at or call 101.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Stay in the know with social media

Links and attachments: Sussex Police will only ever link you to secure websites we trust. We will only send you attachments where we believe it is absolutely necessary.

Message Sent By
Lee Melbourne (Police, Prevention Support & Engagement Officer, Sussex)