Police offer shoppers advice and tools to stay protected from crime
PUBLISHED: 15:23 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 14 December 2017
Visitors to Ipswich town centre picked up some crime prevention advice with their Christmas shopping this week.
Suffolk police hosted two drop-in community engagement days in the town’s shopping centres.
Officers from the Ipswich Central Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) were stationed in Sailmakers on Tuesday and in the Buttermarket on Thursday.
The focus was on simple prevention methods to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of crime – particularly in the lead up to Christmas.
Police community support officer Geoff Plumb, based at Museum Street station, was among those on hand to answer questions about home and personal security.
He said: “It’s good to be more safety aware at all times – but at this time of year, we might be a little more prone to dropping our guard. The house is full of presents and we generally carry more money around than usual.
“We offered leaflets reiterating our advice and encouraging people to sign up to Police Connect for information about their area, and the Immobilise programme, which registers important numbers on valuables – like laptop serial numbers.
“It helps us confirm if items are stolen, and if your item is stolen and recovered, you’ll be notified and reunited with it.
“An awful lot of our advice is based on common sense. It’s about being security conscious.
“We get a lot of reports of people trying car doors to see if they’re open, so something as simple as ensuring doors are locked, and not leaving things on display, can make the difference.
“You have to be the product of some bad luck to be a victim of crime, but you can make it much less likely, if not impossible, for criminals by taking precautions.”
Advice leaflets included a 16-point checklist using the acrostic ‘Home for Christmas’.
Shoppers were also advised to be wary of thieves using a variety of tactics and distractions, like dipping into bags under the cover of a jacket or newspaper, distracting people’s focus from their property, or actively cutting the straps from bags.
To register valuable items and increase your chances of being reunited with stolen possessions, visit immobilise.com.
Sign up to Police Connect for the latest local policing news at suffolk.police.uk/services/police-connect.