Crackdown On City Centre Mobile Phone Thefts
12 November 2012, 12:07
Police in Newcastle are targeting thieves who steal mobile phones in the city.
During October alone, 83 phones were reported as stolen, and nearly half of those happened when people were out in city centre bars.
Last month police arrested eight people on suspicion of phone theft.
Of these, some have appeared before the courts charged with theft or handling stolen goods offences - others are waiting to go on trial.
Sheran Bray from Stanley was on a birthday night out in Newcastle when she had her phone stolen from her handbag that she had over her shoulder and zipped up.
She's been speaking to Capital FM's reporter Anna Harding about what happened
Detective Sergeant Jane McLean, from Newcastle area command, said:
"Mobile phone thefts in the city centre are a persistent problem which we are determined to tackle.
Uniformed officers are carrying out additional patrols in the affected areas during the busier periods, to reassure people and to offer them crime prevention advice.
We also have plain clothes officers patrolling in the 'hot spot' areas who are gathering evidence about offenders."
We do need members of the public to play their part too.
We want to remind people who come into city centre bars and clubs to keep their phones secure, in a closed bag or pocket.
Not to leave them lying on bar tables or resting on the sink when visiting toilets.
Our advice is simple - don't lose out - keep a watchful eye on your mobile and other valuables.
Make sure you can see your bag at all times, don't leave it hanging on the back of a chair where an opportunist thief can dip into it to steal your phone or other valuables."
Police say they're asking people to take some basic precautions to make sure they don't end up as victims of crime.
Some basic tips for keeping your stuff safe on a night out:
* Look after your property - be vigilant when in crowded places and never leave any belongings unattended
* Expensive iPhones or Blackberrys lying alone on bar tables are attractive to opportunist thieves - don't leave bags open or on the backs of chairs
* Keep handbags within your sight at all times
* Anyone who sees suspicious activity should contact police straightaway on 101 ext 69191.