Police staff "steal" 28 phones, wallets and bags from people on nights out in Bristol city centre
POLICE “stole” 28 mobile phones, wallets and bags as they highlighted safety lapses on nights out in Bristol.
A team of four police staff carried out an experiment to see how easy it is for thieves to steal from revellers.
They visited some of the city centre's biggest nightclubs, pubs and bars and in the space of only five hours put stickers on 28 personal belongings that they could have taken if they were genuine criminals.
Inspector Keith Rundle said: “Every weekend we have people ringing us to report that their phone, wallet or handbag has been taken.
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"Nine times out of ten this will be because they've left it out in plain sight on tables, floors or back of chairs, making it really easy for the thieves to target you.
“With smart phones now often worth around £500 it’s easy money for the thieves. We ran this experiment to raise awareness of just how easy it is to take your things if you don't keep them safe.”
More than 1,000 mobile phones and 500 purses and wallets are stolen on average every year from people visiting Bristol city centre.
Police are hoping to reduce that number by making people more aware of their responsibility in helping to combat crime.
Top tips to keep your valuables safe include:
• Keep them out of sight – don’t advertise your stuff to thieves
• Keep them on your person and never leave them unattended
• Don’t hang bags on the backs of chairs or tucked under chairs where you can’t see them
• Register your property at www.immobilise.com
Insp Rundle added: “We are also asking people to think about what they stand to lose if their phone is taken.
"Smart phones now contain so much information that you could lose all of your music, photos, passwords and worst of all give thieves access to your identity.”