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Met police: “Take care of your valuables”

Monday, 5 September, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Metropolitan Police are urging Londoners to take care of their valuables when out and about. This is part of a renewed awareness campaign, launched today (Monday September 5) in the hope of  reducing street crime. 

To support the campaign, 1,000 officers and PCSOs will be helping and engaging with school children across London as they start their new school year.

While overall crime in London continues to fall, there has been a recent rise in street robbery.

The most commonly stolen items this year have been:

-high-value smart phones

-digital media players

-gold jewellery (chains and necklaces) which are sold for cash through the second-hand market – largely driven by the high value of gold, and companies promising to sell it for large sums.

To coincide with the new academic year, the police will be supporting children, especially year seven pupils just starting secondary school, to advise them on how to keep safe. As 11-year olds start their new schools, they are often making longer journeys, walking home for the first time or have new phones.

This time of year usually sees an increase in children (11-16) whose mobile phones are stolen after leaving school. Parents are also being advised to make sure their children are aware of how to avoid drawing attention to expensive items in their possession.

Assistant Commissioner Ian McPherson, head of the Met’s Territorial Policing, said: “We take street crime very seriously – being robbed can be a traumatic experience and so tackling it is a key priority for us and we are doing everything we can through enforcement, education and prevention to address it.

“While concerted actions to tackle street robbery continue – including thousands of arrests under Operation Target, the Met’s drive on crimes against people and property – we are asking the public to take some basic precautions to help minimise the chance of it happening.

“When you are out, where possible try to keep any valuables hidden. Smart phones and media players are becoming must-have items for many people – that includes criminals too. They simply see these items as cash.

“Many robberies happen when people check their phones just after leaving a train or underground station, or when they are going about their business and may be distracted. Young people too, especially secondary school-aged children are also targeted – usually after school by other young people.

“We’re not asking the public not to use their phone or media players in public, or not to wear jewellery – we are just advising them to be vigilant about where and when they use or wear them.”

For more information or advice on how to keep safe visit www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention

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