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Don't give thieves a Happy New Year

06 Jan 2015 14:24 PM

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Police in Newcastle city centre are reminding people not to give thieves a Happy New Year by leaving their property unattended.

Over recent months thieves have stolen mobile phones, handbags, wallets and purses after people have left them lying on tables or insecure. There have also been reports of items stolen from bags and jackets which have been left unattended over the backs of chairs.

Police are continuing to advise people to ensure they take extra care of their property when in crowded places, including pubs and clubs.

The city centre Neighbourhood Policing Team continue to carry out high profile and covert patrols and are working with businesses and licensees to catch thieves in the act.

And although police are working to identify possible suspects and take the appropriate action, they are advising that many thefts can be avoided if people take extra care with their property.

The advice is part of Northumbria Police's Operation Soundwave, aimed at keeping opportunist thieves at bay and promoting crime prevention advice.

Newcastle city centre Neighbourhood Inspector Darren Adams said: "While the Christmas and New year rush is over, Newcastle city centre is a busy place all year round and January is no exception. Pubs, clubs and shopping areas continue to be crowded.

"People often carry expensive gadgets around with them - and people will have just received new devices worth hundreds of pounds for Christmas - and it's important they ensure these items are kept secure.

"They need to think - would I leave a large amount of cash just lying on a table, or in my coat pocket on the back of a chair? I'm sure they wouldn't, so securing their property, whether it's expensive or sentimental, is important.

"By taking some crime prevention steps such as ensuring valuable items are kept in zipped up pockets or bags and that belongings aren't left lying on a table or unattended, then people can reduce their risk of falling victim to an opportunist thief."

People are also being advised to make the most of their smart phones to ensure their property is secure. New technology means modern phones can download applications to trace or track the owner's phone via GPS - meaning if it's lost of stolen it can be traced.

And property should be registered with free property registering site immobilise.com, which means if it is stolen and later recovered it can be returned to the rightful owner. It's free to register and takes just a few minutes.

For more crime prevention information visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention