It´s not only on the roads where danger lurks at Christmas time, which is why the National Police have launched a campaign to keep shoppers safe during the festive season.
The “Comercio Seguro” campaign, which runs until the 9th of January, aims to make shoppers and traders aware of potential risks, thus hoping to reduce the number of scams, thefts and robberies that often occur in areas where large crowds gather.
A greater presence of police officers will be noticeable in key areas, as more officers are being deployed, not only on foot, but on horseback and supported by their k-9 colleagues as well.
A guide book has been produced warning of the dangers and current information can always be obtained through the three Twitter accounts, @policia, @interiorgob and @polprvalencia, which are the National Police, Interior Ministry and Valencia Police respectively.
One of the most frequent incidents the police have to deal with is lost children. The police recommend the obvious, keeping a close eye on children at all times, but also the less obvious, such as ensuring the child knows their name and a telephone number to contact in emergencies. They also recommend a wrist band or bracelet with the name and contact number of the parents printed or engraved on it.
For adults, you should avoid carrying large amounts of cash and make sure that you are not followed when you have collected cash from an ATM or a bank. If you become suspicious, contact the police immediately.
Do not accept help from strangers who supposedly want to help, they sometimes take advantage of your guard being lowered in order to grab money and valuables.
Avoid street-gamers playing such tricks as the “shell game” or “find the lady” type scams, not only will you not win, your distraction leaves you vulnerable to theft.
When you visit friends and neighbours, always lock your home securely, leave nothing of value in view, don´t fully lower your window blinds and don´t announce your intentions to vacate the premises on social media.
Similar advice also applies to the car of course, never leave valuables such as gifts on show. If you return to your vehicle with goods, be careful you are not seen if you then leave your car to continue to shop.
The National Police would also like to remind party organisers and revellers that any activity, party or public celebration must have administrative approval and comply with safety standards, such as having fire extinguishers, security and emergency exits indicated. If any incident occurs: keep calm and try to stay away from that area, alerting the organiser or 091. Always follow the event security personnel or police where appropriate.