How to stop pickpockets and thieves this Christmas - advice from police in Halifax

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Police in Halifax are urging people to take steps to keep themselves and their valuables safe this Christmas.

Officers from Halifax Central neighbourhood policing team say when out Christmas shopping, keep presents locked away in the boot of cars- if they can be seen, they could be stolen.

They say always close car windows, engage steering locks and close all doors, and park in well-lit areas or attended car parks.

They also urge people to make sure they never keep chequebooks and cards together, and keep pin numbers confidential.

At home, they say do not leave presents under the Christmas tree in view of the window and instead hide them somewhere safe until you need them.

Mark expensive presents, such as electronic equipment, with your postcode by engraving or using a UV pen and dispose of packing carefully as empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have new goods inside.

If you are going away over the festive period, officers say remember to tell your neighbours that you will be away and ask them to keep an eye on the house.

Cancel milk and papers, buy some timers for lights, radio and TV so it looks as if you are at home and remember to securely lock all doors and windows.

Anyone enjoying a night out should not leave bags over the backs of chairs, keep wallets and purses close to your body, make prior arrangements as to how you will get home, make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back, do not get into an unlicensed taxi and be aware that drinking too much can leave you vulnerable to thieves.