Theft from the person is where items are stolen from someone without the threat or use of physical force, for example snatching items or pickpocketing. These crimes can happen to anyone at any time of day, however figures show that students and young women aged 18-24 who may be out at night are particularly vulnerable to these crime types.
Tips to reduce the risk of theft
There are a number of precautions you can take to both prevent theft from happening and to assist in the recovery of your stolen items. Thieves look for people and homes they can easily target so take the time to make yourself aware of the tips to reduce the risk of theft from the person.
- Lock doors and windows when leaving a property.
- Keep bags securely fastened and out of view.
- Only take out what is necessary when going out at night
- Avoid listening to music on headphones whilst walking home at night alone and keep to well-lit, busy areas.
- Make sure no one is loitering too close when using a cash machine. Don't be distracted while you remove your card and cash from the machine.
- After withdrawing cash, don't count your money in the middle of the street.
- Be alcohol aware and drink responsibly.
Look after your belongings
- Mark belongings using a UV pen or other marking system.
- Register your valuables on one of the commercially available asset registers.
- Never leave your bag, mobile, tablet or laptop unattended in public view, even if you are just going to the toilet.
- Do not keep all your valuables in one place. Instead place items such as wallets and mobile phones in inside pockets.
Protect your mobile
- Avoid talking on your mobile whilst walking home at night alone and keep to well-lit, busy areas.
- Be careful when using it outside train and bus stations which are popular venues for snatch theft, often by motorcycle.
- Keep it hidden from view, not in your back pocket.
- Keep public phone conversations short.
- Make a note of your personal IMEI number (type *#06# on your phone's keypad to get it). If you have the IMEI number you can block your phone being used if it is stolen.
- Use a security code or PIN.
- Download a phone tracking application.
Content source: Theft from the person - Information pack for partners (July 2013), published by the Home Office.