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Crime Trends to be Aware of During the Festive Season

The holiday season might be a time for fun and family and it is easy to focus on everything we can do with our loved ones and overlook our safety. It is common to see a rapid increase in crime during the festive season, and you must be aware of the crime trends during the Christmas period.

There has been a steady increase in crime during festive seasons, which has been the case for the last few years. Crime events such as hijackings, house robberies, bag or phone snatching, ATM scams, and mall robberies are some crimes that have seen a steady increase during the festive seasons. We will discuss avoiding and managing common crimes during the festive season.

Hijackings

There have been higher numbers of recorded cases of hijackings during the festive season. There is now a greater need for motorists to become vigilant on the road and pay attention to their surroundings, especially if travelling or visiting areas they do not usually frequent. When driving, you should frequently change your routine and alternate your routes so that they are not easy to predict for anyone who might be watching you. To ensure that you avoid becoming a victim of hijackings, you can use a mapping service that allows you to share the routes you take with your family members.

Ensure that your vehicle is also well-maintained as it significantly reduces the chances of having it break down, which leaves you vulnerable. Before you enter your car, you should also check the back seat to ensure that there is no one in the vehicle. Before you reach your vehicle, you should have your keys ready, but they should not be visible. You should only unlock your car when you are close. While walking to your vehicle, avoid talking on your cell phone.

House robberies

The holiday season offers criminals more opportunities to commit house robberies as most people might choose to go on vacation and leave their house unoccupied. Therefore, to prevent criminals from breaking into your home, you should follow some safety measures. Before leaving for vacation, make sure that your alarm system batteries, panic buttons and sensors are tested at least two weeks before you leave. Doing so early will give you enough time to service or replace anything if it needs to be. You should also notify your security provider that you will be away on vacation. Make sure that you also leave a set of spare keys with a trusted family member, which could be helpful if an emergency were to occur while you were away.

Bag or phone snatching

The danger of robberies is that they can occur anywhere and at any time. Bag and phone snatching tend to be popular as it happens so fast that it might take a while to register what happened. It can be helpful to know what thieves look for in victims as it assists you in avoiding exhibiting these things, which will prevent you from becoming a victim yourself. One of the measures you can follow to avoid becoming a victim of a robbery is by maintaining situational awareness, paying attention to what is going on around you, and looking out for things that could threaten your safety. Therefore, you must avoid listening to music or looking at your phone as this affects your awareness.

You should refrain from carrying valuables as thieves pick their targets based on their items. Wearing expensive jewellery and clothes might make you a target. When travelling, do your homework first, as robbers tend to target tourists. Robbers can easily spot tourists from a crowd as they do not know their way around, and they might not understand the native challenge.

ATM scams

During the festive season, people tend to become more relaxed, making it easier for criminals to use their tactics to commit crimes. One of the most popular scams is ATM scams which exploit human psychology through using malicious social engineering tactics for criminals to steal personal or confidential information. Therefore, you should be alert when withdrawing cash from ATMs during the festive season. When trying to steal bank cards and pins, criminals tend to interfere with people conducting their transactions. Therefore, you must never accept assistance from anyone, even from those people who might seem legitimate. Refrain from carrying large amounts of cash, which puts you at risk of becoming a victim of crime. Instead, opt to use safer ways of transacting, such as internet transfers and cell phone banking.

Mall/armed robberies

Mall robbery syndicates tend to operate frequently during the festive seasons as stores have higher stock and cash. The most vulnerable stores include designer, jewellery, and mobile device stores. These stores are usually targeted because they are quick to grab and offer higher returns. In most instances, when these stores are targeted, weapons will usually be involved, and the criminals are willing to risk innocent lives in the process. If you are inside the store when it is robbed, you are advised to remain calm and that you do not resist. Cooperate with the robbers and do not take any actions that might jeopardise your safety. Ensure that you refrain from making any unexpected or quick movements and follow the directions given by the robber. If you happen to be close to a store being robbed, stay far away and find a place to hide. Refrain from making eye contact with the robbers and trying to film the event, as this could potentially draw attention to you.

Conclusion

Staying safe during the festive season should be a priority for everyone, whether travelling or staying at home. Being aware of the popular crime trends during the festive season will assist you in keeping you and your loved ones safe.

See The Role of Technology in Crime Prevention & Policing.

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