Free winter safety advice for Tonbridge shoppers

Last Updated:

Last Updated: 04 Dec 2017 11:29am

Shoppers out and about in Tonbridge on Saturday 9 December will be able to pick up some useful winter safety tips as well as some free personal safety items in the latest community safety event organised by Tonbridge and Malling’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP).

Representatives from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, KCC Community Wardens, Kent Police and the Kent Police Cadets will be on hand from 10am to 1pm in the Pavilion Shopping Centre to chat to shoppers, offering community safety advice along with free safety items including personal alarms and purse chains.

The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the importance of keeping personal items out of reach of prying eyes and light-fingers and, with Christmas just weeks away, to remind people of some simple safety tips to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime over the festive season.

Top safety tips this Christmas:

When shopping

  • When shopping for Christmas presents remember to keep them locked away in the car boot - if they can be seen, they could be stolen.
  • Always close car windows, engage steering locks and close all doors.
  • Park in a well-lit area or in an attended car park.
  • Make sure your purse is secure. Never keep your chequebook and card together and keep your pin number confidential.

At home

  • Don't leave presents under the Christmas tree in view of the window; hide them somewhere safe until you need them (which makes it more of a surprise too!)
  • Mark expensive presents, such as electronic equipment with your postcode by engraving or using a UV pen.
  • Dispose of packing carefully as empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have new goods inside.

If you are away

  • If you are going away over the festive period 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 your lights, radio and TV so it looks as if you are at home. These can be picked up cheaply from any DIY store.
  • Remember to securely lock all doors and windows.

If you are out on the town

  • Don't leave bags over the back of your chair and 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.
  • Don't get into an unlicensed taxi.
  • Don't drink too much - you could become a target for thieves.
  • Don’t drink and drive – and remember you could still be over the limit the following morning as well.

Cllr Maria Heslop, Chair of the CSP and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, says: “Although Tonbridge and Malling has one of the lowest crime rates in the county, opportunistic thefts are more common over the festive season and there is always more we can do to keep ourselves and our belongings safe.  If people can try to be more aware of what is happening around them as they shop that would certainly help to deter would-be criminals, particularly those who use ‘distraction’ tactics to steal items from shoppers. Purse chains are very effective and, combined with sensible practices such as keeping your bag closed and close to your body, they can make a real difference.”

For more useful safety information, please visit www.tmcommunitysafety.org.uk or email csp@tmbc.gov.uk.