I’m sure most of you are now well and truly getting into the Christmas spirit. A time to give and receive. Spending time with our loved ones and looking forward to Santa Claus visiting!

It can also be a time when the “bad guys” can be very active. But before you shout “Bah Humbug” allow me to digress a little!

I personally love to spend a few hours shopping and absorbing the great atmosphere in Dublin city. The sounds,smells ,sparkling displays and Irish hospitality, make it a great town to go present shopping.

Hard Target’s Top 9 Tips To Stay Safe this Christmas

  1. Plan your day out in advance. Where you will park or bus stop that will leave you most central. Have your gift list ready,choosing what shops to go to. Cafe to stop off and relax.
  2. Don’t carry too many bags. This can leave your hands restricted and your pockets exposed.
  3. Carry very little cash. Just enough for parking, coffee etc. Best to pay by card.
  4. When paying by card be sure to cover the keyboard when entering your PIN number. I always have my wife or friend stand beside me looking the opposite way,to be sure no one is lurking.
  5. Wear appropriate clothing. 3-4 Layers are better than one or two. Be mindful of how far you need to walk (see tip #1). You don’t want to be sweating either! Clothing should have secure zipped pockets to carry your debit card, keys, receipts, phone and small amount of cash.
  6. Always be aware of your bags. Particularly when stopping for coffee. Best to have one or two bags only that you can put under the table and between your feet. Special tip for the ladies – if carrying a handbag, put the strap around the leg of the table.
  7. Stay situationally aware. The majority of Christmas shoppers will be in the feel good mood (which is great) but do you know it’s when we are in this mindset that we are also at are most vulnerable. Many people often walk straight into the thieves trap. Its what I call the Holiday Hotspots.
  8. If stopping off for a festive drink,please be mindful of your limitations. If you have one too many your awareness will be seriously reduced.
  9. It is advisable not to broadcast on social network sites about where,when and what you intend to buy when you are going shopping.

Finally, think of the safety of others this season. Temperatures are dropping, roads and pavements are prone to freezing. Elderly neighbours are particularly at risk at this time. Call by and see if you can help in any way. It will also mean a lot to someone who may be home alone to know someone is watching out for them.

On behalf of all at Hard Target I would like to wish everyone a happy, loving and safe Christmas season – Aidan Carroll (Hard Target Founder).