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Keep yourself and your property safe this summer

30 Jul 2020
  • Thefts and robberies can increase during the summer

  • Make sure you keep your phone and valuables out of sight in public

  • Visit our crime prevention pages for more advice on keeping your valuables safe

As the school summer holidays get under way, Hertfordshire Constabulary is reminding people to ensure they keep themselves and their property safe when venturing out.

During the holidays opportunities for criminals can increase as people become less cautions and leave valuables lying around; on tables in cafés, on the grass in the park or in bags left lying around.

Inspector Nicki Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “In the summertime we usually see an increase in thefts of personal property. Sometimes this is because people can become less careful with their property, making it easier for thieves or pickpockets to strike. Young people can also be intimidated into handing over phones, valuables and cash, so it’s important to keep valuable items out of sight when out in public. When you are out enjoying the sun, it’s easy to forget you’ve put your phone, bag or purse down, or to remember to keep them hidden. This can attract the attention of a thief.”

You can keep you can keep yourself and your property safe by following these tips:

  • Do not leave your phone unattended – it only takes a second for a thief to strike
  • When you are out and about, keep your phone in a closed bag or zipped pocket so it is not visible to others. Keep your bags with you at all times
  • If you need to use your phone when you are out and about, try and find a busy public area
  • Be careful when using your phone in a crowd, as it is easy to have it knocked from your hand
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings
  • Do not become distracted by people asking for directions/the time
  • Set a PIN on both the phone’s handset and on the SIM card. This will make it harder for others to use the phone, even if they remove the SIM card
  • Cap the phone’s usage. This will set a limit so the phone can only be used up until a certain amount of money has been spent. You can also bar certain calls e.g. calling premium or international numbers
  • Know the phone’s make, model and IMEI number. Dial *#06# into your phone or call your network provider to find out your phone’s identity number (IMEI)
  • Do not store any personal details such as bank account details
  • Sign up to an app that can help trace the phone if it goes missing, for example, Find my iPhone is free to download and lets them use another device to find and protect your data. You can also register your phone on an accredited property database, so if it is lost or stolen but then gets found, police can use these databases to return the item to the owner.

You can find further advice on securing your home at www.herts.police.uk/protectyourproperty.

You can report information about a crime online at herts.police.uk/report or speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat, which can be launched here: herts.police.uk/contact. You also call the non-emergency number 101.

You can use our community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns. Visit bit.ly/herts-echo and tell us your thoughts.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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