News

Warning to students after mobile phone thefts

12 Feb 2016 11:31 AM

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Police are urging students not to use their mobile phones as collateral when paying for taxis.

Officers in Newcastle are receiving an increasingly growing number of reports, mostly from students in the city, of mobile phones being stolen by taxi drivers.

The victims are getting taxis home without having any cash on them and when reaching their destination they are having to go inside their homes to get cash. They are leaving their mobile phones with taxi drivers while they do so.

In a number of incidents, when the person comes back out to pay the taxi driver they find they have left and made off with the person's mobile phone.

Enquiries are always carried out into the reports of theft but often the victim isn't aware which taxi firm they have used,  making it increasingly difficult for officers to help get their phones back.

Newcastle East Neighbourhood Inspector Neil Brotherton said: "We have had a number of these reports now and it's really frustrating as they could have been easily avoided. Mobile phones are incredibly expensive and important to people so why people would risk a £500 plus phone for a £10 taxi fare is difficult to understand.

"If you are going out in the city then always have plans in place to get home safely. Pre-book taxis, organise with friends and keep some emergency money in your pocket to get home. Use reputable taxi firms and companies and don't just jump into any vehicle that looks like a taxi. Look after yourself and your property and do not hand over your phone to a taxi driver or anyone else."

 

Advice for students -

  • Make use of emergency student taxi schemes - Both Newcastle and Northumbria Universities run the scheme that is able to help students get taxis safely if they run out of money.

         For more info visit:

http://www.mynsu.co.uk/heretohelp/safeinthecity/ -  Northumbria Uni

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/about/EmergencyTaxiScheme.htm - Newcastle Uni

 

  • Have emergency cash on you for a taxi home - Always keep some money aside on a night out to make sure you can get home safely. Keep it in an emergency pocket or somewhere safe and you know it's there should you need it.

 

  • Get taxis home with friends - Share taxi journeys with friends where possible. It makes it cheaper and if one of you needs to pop into the house to get money then the others can stay with the taxi.

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