Christmas is coming and it is time to start thinking about safety during the festive season!
Christmas is a time to celebrate and have fun. But for some it can provide an opportunity to take advantage of those who are vulnerable and susceptible to crime.
Please follow our advice this festive season and together, we can help keep you safe this Christmas.
Drink driving accounts for 14% of all road fatalities.
By driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you risk the safety of all road users around you.
The legal alcohol limit for drivers is:
• 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 ml of breath
• 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 ml of blood
• 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 ml of urine
There is no “safe” amount to drink and drive. The way alcohol affects you depends on many variables, including: weight, age, sex and metabolism, the type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking, what you’ve eaten recently and even your stress levels at the time.
It’s illegal to drive if you’re unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs.
The consequences for drink and drug driving:
• A minimum 12 month driving ban
• A criminal record
• Potential Op Dragoon target
• Up to 6 months in prison
• An endorsement on your licence for 11 years
• Increase in car insurance costs
• Potential job loss
• There is no excuse for drink or drug driving
• You don’t have to be drunk to be a drink driver
• A second drink can double your chance of being involved in a fatal collision
• Beware the morning after
• Time is the only way to ensure you aren’t driving whilst under the influence
• Plan how to get home without driving
• Don’t offer alcohol or drugs to someone you know is planning to drive
• Don’t accept a lift from a drink or drug driver
• Don’t let someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs get behind the wheel
Fraud and vulnerability
Increasingly fraud is becoming more complex and deceptive, much of which is targeted at vulnerable and elderly people. Fraud and scams can take a number of forms such as cyber-crime and doorstep crime including distraction burglary and rogue traders.
Understandably, everyone is busy preparing for the festive season, but it is important to remember that vulnerable members of our communities still need the vigilance and support of members of the public to help protect them from being targeted.
One of the most important things you can do is to make yourself aware of common fraud crimes and then simply talk to friends, relatives and neighbours, to make them aware of what sorts of scams could be targeted at them and how to protect themselves from becoming victims.
- Be suspicious of all ‘too good to be true’ offers and deals
- Do not agree to offers immediately. Take decisions in your own time – don’t feel pressurised to make hasty decisions
- Do not hand over money or sign anything until you have checked the credentials of the company or individual
- Never let anyone into your property or send or give money to anyone you don't know or trust
- Check people are who they say they are – always check ID cards
- Don't share your personal information with anyone
- Always log on to a website directly rather than clicking on links provided in an email
- If in doubt phone a relative or a friend
- Fraud is a crime, please report it! By reporting it to Action Fraud we can work to prevent them deceiving others
How to Report:
Fraud is known to be under-reported as victims describe feeling ashamed and in addition, vulnerable members of our society may be even less likely to speak up if they have been exploited. That is why it is so important that members of the public ensure they support vulnerable members of the community and report any concerns if they believe someone is a victim of fraud or is being exploited.
As the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud should be your first point of contact if you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud: 0300 123 2040 or actionfraud.org.uk
Concerned about a vulnerable person?
There is no place for abuse, exploitation or neglect at any time of year. If you are concerned about any adult or child, please report it now.
Or if you are experiencing exploitation, abuse or neglect of any kind please do not suffer in silence, there is help available.
Children and families throughout Devon and Cornwall should be able to enjoy their Christmas free from the fear of domestic abuse.
Over the Christmas period, Devon and Cornwall Police will have additional specially-trained officers dedicated to victims and to deal with those who commit domestic abuse.
As reports of domestic abuse have historically increased during the festive period, officers will be conducting extra reassurance visits to high-risk victims to ensure they continue to be safe.
Serial domestic abuse perpetrators and offenders with special conditions and court orders will also be subject to further scrutiny during this period of time.
Remember, domestic abuse isn’t just physical. Does your partner regularly control who you see, what you wear, how you use your phone? These are just a few behaviours which can amount to serious psychological and emotional abuse. Do not suffer in silence; get help and report this abuse now.
There is no place for domestic abuse at any time of year. For more information and advice about domestic abuse follow this link.
Cyber-crime and online shopping
There are many opportunities offered by the internet, particularly the growth in online shopping and banking, which make us vulnerable to crime.
The festive period is traditionally the busiest time of the year for shopping and unfortunately, there are those who are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the Internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities.
Online safety shouldn’t be taken for granted or assumed. The internet is now a fact of modern life for most of us. It is expected that online activity has caught the attention of a few determined criminals, but it is up to us to ensure we keep ourselves and our information safe when using the internet.
Contacting the police and 101
Christmas is always a busy time for emergency services. Devon and Cornwall Police is asking you to think carefully before you dial.
Please carefully consider whether the reason for your call is something the police can help with, before picking up the phone or if your enquiry could be dealt with online. It is faster and easier to go online and submit your enquiry to an operator.
Unfortunately a large percentage of calls received to 101 are for other agencies or not an appropriate call for the police. For every call we are dealing with that is not a police matter, someone else who needs police assistance has to wait.
Some calls received are concerning issues that are believed to be dealt with by the police, but are actually subjects for your local council to act upon. Matters such as:
Roads and transport
- Report a road issue
- Live travel alerts
- Parking issues
- Driveway obstructions
Recycling and rubbish
- Bin collections
- Dog fouling
Planning and housing
- Street lighting
Leisure and culture
- Noise complaints including parties
- Pest control
- Lost/found animals
- Fly tipping
- Bonfires and fireworks
- Trading standards
The ‘Contact’ section of this site offers various online reporting and enquiry tools that enable a quicker and easier alternative to calling 101.
Please remember to think before you call. If we work together we can offer a better service for you during #Christmas2020 and thereafter.
An open door to family, friends and neighbours can be one of the highlights of the festive period but a door left open to thieves can bring untold devastation. Devon and Cornwall Police is asking you to consider who can get into your home this Christmas and to think about locking doors and windows, even when you are ‘just popping next door.’
Our ho-ho-home security advice can help stop those on the naughty list from stealing your Christmas:
- Consider fitting automatic timer switches to light your house after dark if you’re not going to be home
- Hide small items like iPads, mobile phones and jewellery In unconventional places- most burglars will only steal what they can carry
- Record serial numbers of electrical items, mark them with your postcode and house number and take photographs of jewellery
- Think about how you dispose of packaging after Christmas- boxes on show by the bin give thieves a hint of what they can expect to find indoors.
- Don't leave car keys near your front door. There are thieves who will break in to your home just for the keys to your car. Also keep contactless cards out of sight
- Be a good neighbour and keep an eye out for anyone who seems to be taking an interest in cars or homes in your area. Swap a doorkey with a trusted neighbour or friend to turns lights on or put bins out so it looks like someone is home if you are away over Christmas
Just going to pay for parking? Just popping in to a shop? Just putting some shopping in the car to free your hands? It is surprising just how quickly thieves target cars for the valuables inside.
Devon and Cornwall Police offers the following safety advice to protect your car and presents this Christmas:
- Park in a secure garage whenever possible to do so
- Make sure your car is locked, alarmed and fitted with a steering lock every time you leave it- even if you will only be gone for a short time
- Always park in a well-lit or attended car park. What seems like a safe place in daylight may not seem so after dark
- Don't leave any valuables on display
- Try not to take shopping back to your car to store throughout your trip, most thieves are opportunists and will watch for what you are leaving behind
Devon and Cornwall Police will attend a theft from or damage to a vehicle if there is evidence to gather and if officers are not already tasked with a high priority incident. High priority incidents are those where a crime is in progress or their is threat, risk or harm to life.
You can report a theft or damage to a vehicle via the Contact section of our website. Make sure you have a pen to hand as you will need the crime reference number we give you to provide to your insurance company.