Cracking Christmas crime in the Dales

Police in the Dales are offering advice to help keep residents safe in the run up to Christmas.

It is part of a seasonal campaign to target crime at a time when people are busy shopping or celebrating in the festive run up. Officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood policing teams in towns across the division are stepping up patrols to help prevent retail related crime and offering personal safety advice.

Community Safety Insp. Shaun Woodcock said: “Crime levels continue to be low, with reductions of around 18 per cent over the past three years; however, at this time of year it is easy to become distracted while out shopping.

“We are asking not to be alarmed but alert, look after your bags and belongings and be aware of anyone acting suspiciously around you. By following simple steps and taking responsibility for your personal property you can help reduce the chances of being a victim or having your hard earned money stolen.”

Free purse chains are being offered to shoppers and officers will be working alongside retailers to respond to any incidents quickly and target suspicious activity.

When it comes to the car, people are advised to:

Park in a well lit area or in an attended car park. Look out for the Park Mark award logo for safer parking.

Don’t leave valuables in the glove compartment. Take bank cards, mobile phones and sat-nav systems with you.

Always lock your car and close windows, even if you are leaving it for just a few minutes.

Not leave presents on view on the back seat. Lock them out of sight in the boot.

Shoppers should:

Make sure that handbags, wallets and mobile phones are kept secure and, if possible, out of sight.

Never leave handbags or coats unattended in shopping trolleys.

Do not allow anyone to see your PIN number at cash points or when paying for goods.

To report any suspicious activity call Derbyshire police on 101, the new non-emergency number, or if you have any information about crime call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.