Personal Robbery

Don't fall foul to street robbers...

We're reminding Cambridgeshire residents to keep their valuables out of sight. Opportunistic thieves keep an eye out for the chance to take your belongings, so don't make it easy for them. The easiest to grab items such as mobile phones, cash and bags are the most commonly taken, but there are a few simple measures you can take to prevent yourself becoming a victim.

General advice

  • Be vigilant as to who is around you. If you think you're being followed, keep moving and head for a busy area or nearby shop. Tell someone what's happening or call the police.
  • Carry your house keys in your pocket rather than your bag so you can at least get into your home.
  • Cover up expensive-looking jewellery.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Consider carrying a personal alarm.
  • If someone grabs one of your belongings, such as your bag or phone, let it go. If you hang on, you could get hurt. Remember your safety is more important than your property.

Bags

  • Keep your bag shut, secure and in sight at all times.
  • While walking around, carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards.
  • Don't put everything in your bag. For example, keep your keys and mobile in an inside coat pocket.
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your belongings beside you rather than hanging them on the back of the chair.

Mobile phones

In Cambridgeshire mobile phones are stolen every day. Young people and those visiting pubs and clubs can be especially vulnerable. By taking a few simple steps you can prevent your phone going mobile without you.

  • Always be aware of when and where it is safe to use your phone. Also be aware of those nearby, if you have to walk through an open space on your own, avoid using your mobile phone.
  • Pickpockets will often cause a distraction or bump into you in order to steal your phone. Be aware in a crowded situation that this is always a possibility.
  • Keep your phone out of sight in your pocket or bag when not in use.
  • Do not leave your phone on show in public places.
  • Make sure your phone is marked and identifiable and you know the make and model.
  • Consider using some way of securing your phone to your handbag or pocket such as using a bungee.
  • Keep a record of your IMEI number, which is unique to your phone and can help you recover it. If you press *#06# on your phone, its 15 digit IMEI number will be displayed.
  • Register your phone at www.immobilise.com, a free service that allows you to register your property. This means we are more likely to be able to return your phone to you if it's lost or stolen. (You will need your IMEI number – see above).

Money and cash machines

Elderly people are especially vulnerable to this type of crime but follow the below advice and you can avoid yourself being targeted:

  • Don't carry large sums of money.
  • Do not keep your PIN with your bank card
  • Protect your PIN when using a cash point. Try to use cash points inside the bank where possible, and before you use it check no one's hovering behind you.

As part of the personal robbery strand of the Crimes and support campaign, we're using a range of tactics to target offenders and reassure victims with crime prevention advice.

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