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From a police perspective: Going shopping? Going out?

This month, Sgt David Lonsdale offers his advice on keeping your belongings safe during this very busy time of year.

As the festive season gets under way, lots of us head out shopping for the day or to social events in the evenings. Humberside Police has issued the following advice to stop opportunist thieves taking your belongings.

DON’T LEAVE YOUR HANDBAG UNATTENDED in shopping baskets, trolleys, pushchairs or mobility scooters. In cafes and restaurants, keep bags on your lap, between your feet or place the strap around a chair leg. Don’t hang your bag on the back of your chair where you can’t keep an eye on it.

DON’T LEAVE YOUR MOBILE PHONE ON THE TABLE Mobile phones are frequently targeted by thieves and easily swiped when your back is turned, even just for a minute.

KEEP HANDBAGS CLOSE TO YOUR BODY and closed at all times. Choose a bag that can be zipped. Your purse and phone should be well hidden and tucked away out of sight and out of easy reach of pickpockets.
Be particularly careful on public transport, keep your bag where you can see it. If you carry a rucksack, wear it on your front rather than on your back or over your shoulder.

KEEP THE AMOUNT OF VALUABLES INSIDE HANDBAGS TO AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM and do not carry large amounts of cash.

BE MINDFUL OF DISTRACTIONS Thieves working in pairs may try to divert your attention in order to steal your handbag or purse/wallet. Avoid carrying too much around with you, the more bags you’ve got the more vulnerable you are. If you need to take shopping back to your car, put your bags in the boot – don’t leave them where they can be seen.

This advice also applies if you are going out on an evening too. Don’t ever leave your handbag/wallet unattended even if you are just nipping to the bar to quickly buy a drink or for a dance as it only takes seconds for your belongings to disappear!

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