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(Not so) Happy Holidays

It’s that time of year again — the holiday season. Without detracting too much from the joy and excitement, it’s important to remember that — sadly — a spike in crime is common in many parts of the world at this time of the year. Fortunately with some basic awareness and reasonable mitigation measures, the risk can be managed.

From petty theft to home burglaries, criminals take advantage of the season.  While the risks vary from location to location, some general guidance for those working globally includes:

  • If traveling — especially for extended periods — don’t widely advertise your trip, lock all doors and windows and consider having a trusted friend check on your residence while gone.
  • While shopping, keep aware of your surroundings, limit how much cash you’re carrying and don’t leave packages visible in vehicles. Only use ATMs in well-lit, known, safe locations.
  • If confronted by criminals, don’t resist, comply with instructions and hand over valuables to avoid harm.
  • Break down and conceal boxes from high value items such as electronics to avoid advertising potential targets for criminals.
  • Enjoy holiday parties, but avoid drinking and driving.

For more details and practical security tips, this message from the US Embassy in Costa Rica hits on a number of key points that are applicable around the world during this time of year — including in the US and Europe.

Stay safe and enjoy  the holidays.