Thefts by moped-riding gangs are partly behind the largest increase in police-recorded crime in ten years with a 7% rise in theft, including a 20% rise in theft involving a vehicle.
More and more criminals are using bicycles and mopeds to snatch mobile phones from people, particularly at busy locations such as shopping districts, train/tube stations and universities.
We have compiled some practical, preventative advice which you can review below:
Employing rob-and-run tactics, thieves are increasingly committing 'snatch theft' to steal mobile phones. Most incidents occur with criminals using bicycles and mopeds to mount pedestrian walkways and steal phones from behind the victim.
On a moped, the pillion passenger is the one who most commonly snatches the device.
The Cycle of Crime
Many of the bicycles and mopeds used to commit these thefts are also stolen. Last year, Scotland Yard reported a 31% rise in bike and theft in London (as high as 30 a day).
Mopeds are typically the vehicle of choice by thieves due to their speed and ability to carry a second assailant.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you need to use your phone in a busy place, look out for anyone on a bike or moped near you or anyone acting suspiciously. Try your best to make your call or text quick.
Do not text while walking: stand away from the roadside or position yourself close to a building or wall to ensure no one can approach you from behind.
Using hands free or headphones to take a call can help keep your phone out of the sight of any potential thieves.
Know Your Phone's Security Features
Use biometric technology or password protect your phone at all times.
Many phones allow you to wipe data and lock your handset remotely, helping you prevent thieves from resetting your phone to factory settings in attempts to bypass unique security credentials and passwords.
Know How to Identify Your Phone
Every mobile phone has a unique IMEI number.
This number is invaluable to insurance companies and to the police in identifying your handset.
Find your IMEI number by dialling *#06# on your phone and keep a written note of it. If you believe your phone to be stolen, contact your network provider and quote your number to stop it from being used.
What To Do If Your Phone Is Stolen:
It is important that you never confront or engage with a thief. Do not put your safety at further risk.
Report the theft to your local police station as soon as possible by calling 101 or going in person. Take a note of your crime reference number for claims purposes and to help you stay informed of your case.
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