Don't lose out when out and about

12 Feb 2015 11:07 AM

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Police are urging people not to lose out when out and about as shoppers and revellers flock to South Shields.

Mobile phones, purses, bags and other personal property are often a target for thieves at the busy retail areas and during evenings and weekends pubs and clubs.

Police are warning people to keep a close eye on their belongings to make sure they don't fall victim to opportunist thieves.

The advice is part of Northumbria Police's Operation Soundwave, a forcewide operation aimed at silencing opportunist thieves and burglars and promoting crime prevention advice to residents.

Posters are being put up around shopping areas and other public places such as leisure centres, as well as in pubs and clubs, to remind people to look after their property.

And the Neighbourhood Policing Team is working closely with licensees and retailers to identify and arrest thieves and recover stolen property.

Neighbourhood Inspector John Smith said: "South Shields is a vibrant town centre which is always busy, particularly in retail areas and as people come here to enjoy a night out.

"We've received reports of thefts of property, particularly mobile phones, but also bags, purses and wallets, which have been accidentally left behind or unattended.

"Unfortunately there are opportunist thieves looking to take advantage. They see a mobile phone left on a table or in an open handbag and while the owner is distracted they steal their belongings.

"It only takes a few moments but can be frustrating, as well as being a costly inconvenience."

Officers work with Pubwatch and Shopwatch schemes to identify potential thieves coming to South Shields to steal.

Police are reminding people to be vigilant and make sure they keep a close eye on their property at all times, never leaving it unattended, even for a few moments. And when leaving public places like shops or gyms make sure they have all of their property with them before leaving.

Anyone with information about theft in the town centre can contact police on 101. For more crime prevention information visit the force website at

Police also advise people to register their property with , which means if an item is stolen and later recovered it can be returned to the rightful owner, as well as catching suspects in possession of stolen property.