Shopping malls are getting busier, schools are getting ready to close for the summer and there are only 10 sleeps left until Christmas Day.

As the nation counts down to Christmas, police are also getting ready for the silly season.

Today, Canterbury police announced a social media campaign highlighting 10 tips, one each day until Christmas Day, aiming to prevent people from becoming a victim of crime over the festive season.

Canterbury District crime prevention manager Inspector Corrie Parnell said the tips can keep people safe year-round, but had been given a festive theme in the lead-up to Christmas Day.


"All too often opportunistic crime can be prevented by taking simple steps such as parking in secure areas, locking valuables and shopping out of sight in car boots, locking doors and windows and setting house and vehicle alarms," he said.

"Everyone is busier in the lead-up to the festive period and it is easy to take your eye off the ball. This is also a busy time for opportunistic criminals as they take advantage of shoppers being distracted, crowded shops, bags left open and unattended in bars, windows left open in warmer weather and vehicles left in insecure areas, often with their windows cracked open or the doors unlocked."

Mr Parnell said Christmas and the festive period should be a time for celebration but unfortunately getting into the Christmas spirit by consuming excess alcohol and overspending often causes stress in many relationships.

"Violence of any kind is never okay and will not solve problems," he said.

"Reach out to support agencies, including refuges, for help over the festive period but in an emergency always call police on 111."

He also appealed to businesses to think smart.

"For some businesses, this is the last working week for the year. Our tip today is to take it easy on the alcohol so you don't get into trouble by taking work celebrations to excess.

"If you're putting on a shout for staff, provide food, non-alcoholic drink and reward sober drivers or hire a minibus and driver so your team get home safely.


"Police take an anytime-anywhere approach on breath testing and anyone stopped, no matter what the time of day or night, should expect to be breath tested. If you are planning on drinking alcohol don't drive. Book a taxi, use public transport or nominate a sober driver instead."

Alcohol is a major contributor to crimes such as violence, disorder and sexual assaults, Mr Parnell said.

"In New Zealand around a third of all recorded offences are committed after the offender has consumed alcohol," he explained.

"Make this festive season one that you remember for all the right reasons."

Mr Parnell said every police officer in the country had a simple Christmas wish list: a zero road toll and crime-free Christmas and New Year.

"Be a good mate, stop at merry and stay safe," he said.