Patrols will be stepped up in shopping centres and residential areas to combat the seasonal rise in crime but Chief Insp Glen Channer said there are things people can do to help protect themselves.
“Shoppers need to be aware of pickpockets and keep their purses, wallets and mobiles phones, safely tucked away and out of reach of opportunist thieves. Also be careful around cashpoints and to watch for ‘shoulder surfers’ who try to read pin numbers,” he said.
He also urged people not to leave recently purchased presents on display in cars and after the gifts have been given out not to leave empty packaging outside homes as this tells burglars what is of value inside the property.
The fire service has also issued advice to help keep families safe over the holidays.
Herts chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said more people die or are injured by fires during December than at any other time of year.
People are urged not to leave cooking unattended and to avoid the kitchen altogether when under the influence of excess alcohol. Fairy lights should be turned off before bed, candles kept away from decorations and in suitable holders and be sure not to overload plug sockets.