Many of us have a mobile phone and it can be a great way of keeping in touch and making yourself feel safe when out on your own. But did you know that a mobile phone is stolen around every three minutes in the UK?
Street Crime is one of the objectives in Merton’s Crime & Disorder Strategy 2002-2003 and MPAC is running a number of initiatives in order to tackle the problem. Caroline Ellis, from MPAC, suggests these simple, practical steps to help keep their mobile phones safe and sound:
· When using your phone be aware of your surroundings. Do not use in crowded areas or where you feel unsafe. Try not to use your phone whilst walking about as this makes you less aware of what’s going on around you and is putting your phone on display. Remember how much your phone costs – would you walk down the street holding that much money in your hands?
· Don’t leave your phone lying on the table when in a restaurant or pub.
· Like all your belongings keep an eye on it – never leave your bag or coat unattended.
· Keep your phone out of sight whilst driving so that no one can reach into your car and grab it – place it in the side of the door or leave it in your coat or bag.
If your phone is stolen there are ways to ensure that the thief cannot use it or sell it on so:
· Always use your phone’s security lock code or PIN number.
· Security mark the battery (and phone) with your postcode and street number or the first two letters of your house name.
· Register your phone with the operator. If you report your phone stolen, the operator should then be able to bar the SIM card.
· Keep a note of your phone’s IMEI number as this helps to identify your phone and may be needed by the police. You can find out your phone’s 15 digit IMEI number by keying *#06# into your phone or looking behind the battery. Keep this number safe at home – not in your wallet or diary as this could get stolen alongside your phone.
· Inform the police and your service provider immediately if your phone is lost or stolen.
“If you follow this advice you can help deny thieves the opportunity to steal your phone and can make it difficult for them to use it if they do” Caroline Ellis said.
Further information on crime prevention can be found at http://www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention
Or by contacting the Crime Prevention Unit at Wimbledon Police station on
020 8649 3249
PRESS CONTACT – Kirstin Rowan – 020 8545 3483