Stop criminals having a Merry Christmas

Christmas shopping
Christmas shopping

Police Scotland is urging the public to think about their security and safety while shopping online and out and about.

This reminder comes as thousands of shoppers take to the internet and stores this weekend in search of bargains.

Police officers are calling on shoppers to make informed choices about the presents they buy for themselves, and for their loved ones.

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. As well as being of poor quality, many counterfeit goods can lead to serious health problems.

Imitation alcohol can cause blindness and even death; fake make-up can contain arsenic, rat droppings and rat poison, while counterfeit electrical products, such as straighteners, are not subject to UK testing and are highly dangerous.

The purchase of counterfeit goods supports serious and organised crime gangs, human trafficking and exploitation; it is not a victimless crime.

Chief Superintendent Paul Main, safer communities said: “Everyone is busy this time of year. All we are asking is that you to take a moment to think about the simple preventative measures you can take to discourage criminals and to stay safe. Our message is simple ‘This Christmas, keep safe’.”

Here are some tips for on-line shoppers: Shop with a reputable trader with a return policy; visit ‘Keep Safe Online’ for advice about buying goods via the internet - check the web address has a padlock symbol and “https”; look for returns policy/address.

And advice for shoppers on the street: Ensure your bag is closed and your purse or wallet is not easily accessible when not being used; use well-lit ATMs and be aware of people around you; Don’t leave goods on display in cars; Be aware of where your shopping bags are at all times.