How to prevent street crime
Thieves target phones (especially smartphones), tablets, laptops and handbags.
By taking a few simple precautions you can keep yourself safe when in public places and protect yourself from becoming a victim of crime.
What should I do to keep safe?
Smartphones and tablets
- theft of these items is prominent due to their high resell value
- try not to expose them on the street too much and be aware of your surroundings when using them in public
- in cafes and restaurants be aware of distraction crime (people asking you questions or selling things) and keep these items in your sight at all times
- use a UV marker to mark your postcode and house number on your phone under the battery
General advice when you're out and about
- Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Keep it zipped up, and make sure your wallet or purse can't be seen. If someone grabs your bag, let it go – you are less likely to get hurt and your safety is more important than your property!
- When at a bar or a restaurant, keep your belongings safe and out of reach of passers-by and use bag hooks under tables if available
- Take everything out of your pockets if you hanging your jacket somewhere
- Be aware of distraction techniques, people asking directions or selling things in shops, especially if you have a smartphone or tablet
- Spread your possessions about - keep your mobile phone separate from your purse, and your keys separate from your credit card
- Cover up any expensive jewellery and, if you must carry other valuables, be discreet
- If you think you are being followed, cross the road and get to the nearest place where others are around
- Don’t take short cuts through dark alleys, parks or waste ground – stick to well lit roads with pavements
Staying safe at cashpoints
- Be aware of who is watching you
- Make an effort to ensure no one can see the number you key in
- Put your money away immediately
- If your card appears to be stuck in the machine and there’s no alerting display, run your finger around the inside of the slot. If you feel a little tongue or tag, try pulling gently. Your card may emerge - along with a sleeve placed into the slot to trap the card for a thief.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash
Staying safe on public transport
- Avoid isolated bus stops
- Sit near the driver or conductor
- Sit in a busy carriage on trains - ideally one near the exit at your destination
Staying safe in taxis
- Avoid mini-cabs and private hire companies touting for business
- Sit behind the driver
- Check the taxi that arrives is the one you ordered – make them give you your name or reference
- If the worst happens, shout and scream for help. Defend yourself with items you have with you - e.g. an umbrella or keys. Do not use anything that can be described as an offensive weapon.
Secure your vehicle
- Vehicle crime, which accounts for nearly a quarter of all recorded crime and costs over £3 billion a year, can be reduced by owners following some practical steps. Older cars are particularly prone to being stolen or broken into, with over 80% of all cars stolen being seven years or older.
- Protecting your car could save you time and money as waiting for an insurance company to pay out or your vehicle to be repaired can be time consuming.
How do I register my belongings?
Register your belongings with immobilise.com.