Over on the Garda Síochána Laois Offaly Facebook page, they have offered some easy – but often forgotten – tips on how to stay safe this Christmas.
These tips may seem obvious to carry out – but making sure of them could be the key to you or someone you love having a happy and safe Christmas.
1. Drink alcohol responsibility. Wherever the celebration – everyone should promote safe behaviour.
2. Plan a night out. Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
3. You, your family or friends should never walk home alone. Remember there’s safety in numbers. If you have no other option, walk in well-lit areas.
4. Take care when carrying your handbag, smart phone or tablet in crowded areas. Keep them in a safe location, within view.
5. Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas. Keep handbags zipped and don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. In bars and restaurants take care about where you store coats and handbags.
6. At ATMs, only take out as much money as you need. Cover you PIN number and call the Gardaí if you believe the machine has been compromised.
7. Take care of your Christmas shopping and never leave it unattended, especially in your car.
8. Park your car in a secure, well lit area and make sure to lock it.
9. To avoid burglaries at Christmas, secure all doors and windows and use your alarm.
10. Don’t leave Christmas presents in view from outside your home.
11. If you’re expecting deliveries, always make sure someone is there to collect it or arrange for a trusted neighbour to take it in.
12. If you’re going away for Christmas make your home look occupied, leave a light on and get a trusted neighbour to check on your property.