October 15, 2013

Theft from the Person

Filed under: Crime Awareness — admin @ 9:36 pm

Theft From the Person is a police term generally made up of two distinct types of theft:
(1) Snatch Theft (e.g. handbags, purses and mobile phones) where a small amount of violence is used purely to ‘snatch’ the item rather than offering any force against the victim.
(2) Stealth Theft (e.g. picking a pocket or dipping into a handbag) without the victim knowing that the theft has taken place. Naturally in Stealth Thefts, there is no violence involved at all.

Two key measures: The Crime Survey of England & Wales and Police Recorded Crime show that crime, in general, has been falling however Theft from the Person rose 8% last year. Of these, about a half happened in the Greater London Area (with the problem increasingly concentrated in the Inner City areas) and perhaps most tellingly, over 70% of these are Stealth Thefts.
What is clear is that Offenders are prepared to travel long distances to find Hot Spot Areas within the Inner Cities in order to commit Theft from the Person offences and the average age of the thief is 32 (much higher than is commonly believed). Over 60% occur during the day – on weekdays they mainly happen in the afternoon, whereas at the weekend it switches to night time.
Remember that victims tend to be chosen because they are vulnerable in some way, perhaps being on their own or under the influence of alcohol rather than because they appear to be wealthy. It is students and women who are targeted most often.

In order to help reduce the risks:
Be confident in your manner, many victims are chosen simply because they look timid. A good quality Personal Alarm will make you feel safer when out.
Be discreet, nobody expects you to stop using your phone, after all they are designed for use when out and about but choose when and where you use it. For example be careful outside train and bus stations as these really are popular venues for Snatch Theft, often by motorbike.
Do not advertise your valuables, keep them hidden from view (don’t therefore stick your smartphone in your back pocket!) and never leave your phone, tablet or laptop unattended in public view (for example on the table while you pop to the loo).
Never use headphones to listen to music whilst walking home at night alone, be aware of what’s going on around you and take extra care when using cash machines, make sure that nobody is loitering too close and don’t let anyone distract you as you remove your card and cash from the machine and NEVER count your money in the middle of the street.
Keep a note of your mobile IMEI number (type #06# into your phone) so that if your phone is stolen you can block it from being used.
Mark your valuables with a Permanent UV Marker Pen (just your postcode will do) and remember to mark it in a place that is not handled much (beneath the battery perhaps).

That’s about it, keep safe and keep checking back for more useful advice.


  1. Gгeetings! Ѵery ueful advice աithin thiѕ article!

    Ιt’s the littlе changes wɦich will make the mοst impoгtant changeѕ.

    Maany thankѕ fߋr sharing!

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25, 2014 @ 2:22 am

  2. Great information. Personal security alarms are a good way of making you feel more secure when out alone, or when carrying expensive gadgets with you.

    Comment by Lynn — July 21, 2014 @ 9:29 am

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