Residents of Dorset are urged to prevent theft during the Christmas period.

With many buying last minute presents, Policy Expert is warning to be vigilant of pickpockets.

Opportunistic thieves prey on shoppers, with one in 12 admitting they have fallen victim to pickpockets, and on average lost £192 worth of valuables.

Adam Powell, head of operations at Policy Expert commented: “It’s easy to get distracted by the festivities as the shops get busier over the Christmas period, but it’s important to ensure you’re not a target for thieves.

“High streets and shopping centres tend to be much busier at Christmas, so it’s important to keep an eye on your shopping, bags and any other valuables.”

  Keep mobile phones out of sight in a zipped bag or pocket.

  Don’t leave small valuable items on display in public.

  Keep your bag where you can see it especially in a crowded area.

  Be cautious if you’re walking by yourself, being alone can make you more attractive to thieves.

  Be wary when using cash machines of who is around you.

  Thieves often work in groups, so try not to get distracted.

  Check insurance policy includes away from home cover.