Christmas time. The most wonderful time of the year for everyone, including criminals. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, there is a significant increase in crime rates all over the world. An increase in robberies and cases of personal injury in Utah County, Sacramento, Brooklyn, and everywhere in the U.S. is evident with the number of complaints and police reports filed within the holiday season.
The Blessings of the Season
People tend to carry more cash than usual around this season. Cars and homes are loaded with gifts for loved ones. A lot of people are usually out buying gifts for friends and family and goodies for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Robbers are aware of this fact, and they take advantage of the situation. Reports show an increase of 30% in retail crime over the holidays. That’s a significant increase by any standard.
Blame it on the Holidays
According to Dr. Sherry Hamby, crimes increase during days-off so statistically, Fridays and Saturdays have higher crime rates than any other day of the week. Most of these crimes occur at night. She claims that the increase in holiday crime rates could be due to idle time and inactivity since there is more time for drinking and substance abuse. She also claims that stress is one of the prime movers of holiday-related crimes. We all can agree that the holiday season is one of the most stressful of the year.
People generally are okay with stability and routine, but the holidays are far from routine which does not have routine activities. During this time, an increase in domestic violence can also be noted. A lot of people may suffer from depression as the season creates feelings of loneliness.
Some are even exposed to high-conflict and extremely stressful situations. With all the merrymaking and drinking going on, cases of domestic violence plus tensions go high at home. These are some circumstances that may cause people to snap and do things they usually don’t do which, unfortunately, can lead to incidents of domestic violence or personal injury.
Thefts and robberies, on the other hand, are more commonplace as people are scrambling to get their loved ones gifts they can’t afford. Most of these resort to theft and robbery to make a quick buck or acquire instant gifts. Shoppers are preyed upon as they go out to their parked cars. Purse snatching and bag-grabbing are at its highest in the year. There is also a spike in house and car break-ins during this season. Even online crimes go up dramatically over the holidays as more bogus online shops and internet scammers grow more prevalent.
Vigilance is Key
While it is impossible to “crime-proof” yourself during this season, you can always lower the risk by keeping vigilant. Be mindful of your surroundings. Do not let your guard down even for a second.
Do not expose yourself as a vulnerable target for bad guys. Walk purposefully to your car swiftly and steadily. In most cases, thieves and robbers will think twice about going for a person who seems alert and conscious of his surroundings. If you’re walking down the street and you see a group of people and you don’t feel comfortable, cross the street and walk on the other side or find a different route going to your destination. It may take you more time to get there buy your safety is paramount.
Exercise great caution in dealing with people online. If a deal seems too good to be true, then it is. Don’t let them sweet talk you into giving away your hard-earned money on a “special discount.”
Don’t let the thieving “scrooges” ruin Christmas for you. Stay vigilant and protect yourself and your family. Stay safe this yuletide season. Happy holidays!