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Dorset Police offers advice to Christmas shoppers

It’s Day One of the Dorset Police Countdown to Christmas campaign and officers are encouraging the public to take simple steps to reduce the chances of becoming victims of crime and fraud while Christmas shopping.

As the Christmas shopping season starts and towns become busier, you may find yourself distracted trying to find the perfect present, or spending more time online shopping for Christmas gifts.

Superintendent Mike Rogers said: “We are urging members of the public to follow our advice to keep their belongings safe this festive season, as well as staying alert while shopping online.

“Taking simple steps such as keeping your handbag securely fastened and only shopping at reputable online retailers will reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime.”

Dorset Police is offering the following advice to reduce the chances of becoming victims of crime while out Christmas shopping this year:

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you
  • Keep your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Zip up any pockets and make sure your purse can’t be seen
  • Keep your handbag and shopping bags close to you and make sure you never leave them unattended
  • Avoid carrying too much around with you, the more bags you’ve got the more vulnerable you are
  • Take extra care with your credit/debit cards over the Christmas period to reduce the chances of them being stolen or skimmed.  Make sure you always keep them in sight while your transaction is being completed
  • Be vigilant at cash machines – keep your PIN safe and put cash away safely before walking away. Never write your PIN number down.

Nowadays, we often spend as much time shopping online as we do walking around the shops. It is important to take care when shopping online, just as you would if you were out and about.

Here are some top tips for online shopping this Christmas.

  • It’s advisable to use a credit card when shopping online. If you fall victim to some sort of fraud most credit card companies offer protection for your purchases
  • Try to avoid paying by money transfers – they aren’t secure
  • When shopping online, don’t send confidential personal or financial information by email. A reputable online shop or seller wouldn’t ask for this information to be emailed and it could be used for identity fraud
  • If you have family members, friends or neighbours that are unfamiliar with online shopping but want to give it a go, give them a short tutorial and help and advice so they don’t fall victim to online shopping fraud

If you feel you are the victim of an online scam, you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Make sure you keep all evidence of the offence, including goods and correspondence.



Ferndown Central Safer Neighbourhood Team will be holding a crime prevention event by offering Bike marking at Penny’s Walk, Ferndown on Saturday 7 December.

Poole Town & Oakdale Safer Neighbourhood Team will be a holding a Purse Theft Awareness event in the Dolphin Shopping Centre, Poole between 11am and 2pm on Saturday 7 December.

Townsend Safer Neighbourhood Team will be outside Marks and Spencers at Castlepoint shopping centre from 10.30am on Tuesday 10 December offering crime prevention and personal safety advice.

Kinson South Safer Neighbourhood Team will be holding a Christmas Crime Prevention event on Turbury Retail Park, Ringwood Road on Thursday 12 December between 4pm to 7pm.

Sherborne Town Safer Neighbourhood Team will be providing crime prevention advice and mince pies between 10am to 1pm at Sainsbury’s supermarket, Ludbourne Road on Wednesday 11 December, as well as at the Conduit, Cheap Street between 3pm and 5pm on Wednesday 18 December.

The public can continue to see the Dorset Police Countdown to Christmas updates by visiting http://www.dorset.police.uk/ or by following Dorset Police on Twitter @dorsetpolice. The campaign is using the hashtag  #DPXmasCountdown.

Issued: 2 December 2013