Christmas crimes alert

The festive season comes with shopping sprees, family holidays and parties, but Melbourne East police also warn CBD residents and visitors of surges in theft.

Melbourne East police station commander Adam Tanner has urged shoppers not to leave any valuables or presents in vehicles.

“Christmas is the time when a lot of people come to the city to shop and that’s when thieves tend to target shoppers and their vehicles,” Snr Sgt Tanner said. “Just hiding things from plain sight is not a good idea. You are better off taking them with you.”

Places such as the Bourke St Mall and Swanston St are potential theft hotspots.

Snr Sgt Tanner also encouraged people not to give money to beggars, who “prey on people of good will”.

“We suggest not giving any money directly to them. The council and police work closely to support people experiencing homelessness in the CBD and it’s important that people notify the police if they see anyone displaying aggressive behaviour,” Snr Sgt Tanner said.

The joint mental health response between Victoria Police and the State Government also connects rough sleepers with relevant services and offers crisis support.

Party-goers in the CBD are also encouraged not to “overly indulge in alcohol” and be aware of their surroundings, especially when crossing streets.

“Melbourne is a safe place during the Christmas holidays. There’s a whole range of activities. People can experience the city life but they also need to be aware of crimes,” Snr Sgt Tanner said.

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