A police campaign to spread 12 festive anti-crime messages has been launched to make sure people have a very merry Christmas.
Northumbria Police wants its 12 Messages of Christmas campaign to be taken on board by residents in the run-up to the big day.
The force is posting a new message every day on its social media accounts to remind people to stay safe until December 24.
Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, of Southern Area Command, said: “For the majority of people this time of year is a very busy and stressful time.
“We’re covering all sorts of issues, from the obvious such as don’t be tempted to drink and drive, to reminders that many people might not even be thinking about, like leaving presents under a tree which will be easy pickings to any potential burglars.”
“That’s why we’ve launched this preventative campaign, so we can give the public little messages just to remind them to stay safe and to make sure they have a nice time.
Christmas can be a very busy and stressful time.Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt
“We’ll be posting out these messages on our social media accounts, so they’ll hopefully be seen by lots of people.”
Some of the messages are more serious and hard-hitting than others.
Parents are being reminded that their children could be at risk from grooming on social media sites
While people in abusive relationships are being urged to seek support and to not suffer in silence this Christmas.
But there’s also a number of other helpful tips – like packing your car with essentials, such as warm clothes – in case of a breakdown in the cold weather
Chief Insp Pitt added: “Our final message will be for everyone to have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
“We’re here 365 days a year responding to the public, and we’re not ‘bah humbugs’. We genuinely do want people to have a lovely time with their loved ones, but we want them to be safe and happy.”
To find out more, visit Northumbria Police’s Southern Area Command social media sites, follow them on Twitter – @npsunderland @npsouthtyneside – and visit Northumbria Police Southern Area Command Facebook pages for Sunderland and South Tyneside.
Here’s the 12 Messages of Christmas
1. Christmas shopping? Don’t advertise the presents you’ve bought to thieves. Keep them out of sight and lock your vehicle.
2. It’s party time! remember ‘keys, money, phone, plans to get home’ keep yourself and your friends safe.
3. If you’re planning a Christmas party, be considerate and don’t let it spiral into anti-social behaviour.
4. Don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel after having a drink this festive season – remember none for the road.
5. Don’t let a bogus caller ruin the festive season for a loved one, remind elderly and vulnerable family and friends of safety advice.
6. In an abusive relationship, things are never as they seem on the surface. There is support available, don’t suffer in silence this Christmas.
7. It’s the Friday before Christmas tomorrow and we expect bars and clubs to be busy. If you’re going out, have fun but please stay safe and drink responsibly.
8. Going out tonight? Have fun and don’t let being too drunk ruin your night. One punch can ruin lives, rethink that extra drink.
9. Social media is a great way for children to keep in touch with their friends over the holidays but be aware of the risks posed by strangers who may be trying to groom them.
10. Light-fingered Larry loves Christmas time when there are plenty of presents for him to steal – make sure you lock him out of your home.
11. Driving home for the holidays? Drive safely and take extra care in heavy traffic or adverse weather.
12. Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year to everyone across Sunderland and South Tyneside!