Everyone is very aware of the number of mobile phone thefts that take place. The thieves are after the latest, trendiest phones as they consider them a status symbol. They will use them for a short time and then often simply discard them.

Many of the robberies are young people robbing young people as they are easy targets and most likely to have trendy phones.

What can you do about it?

· Try not to use your mobile phone in the street if possible. If you have no choice, then make sure you are aware of your surroundings. Don't talk along the street chattering away oblivious to who is walking near you. Stand still with your back against a wall/shop front and look around you whilst you are talking.

· Don't use your mobile phone as a substitute for a watch. If someone stops you and asks you for the time, look at your watch and if you don't have one, then say "Sorry, I don't have a watch." Don't take your phone out - it could get snatched.
· If someone comes up to you and asks you if you have a mobile phone don't immediately put your hand on/in the pocket that contains it - you'd be surprised how many people do this - and it is a dead giveaway that you have a phone. Just say no and walk on.

· Don't put your mobile phone down on a table or a bar in a restaurant or café. It is very easy to steal by people walking past your table. You only need to be distracted for a second and it can be snatched.

· Property mark all parts of your phone, the cover, the casing, the inside of the phone and the battery using a UV marker pen. (you can buy these from the Putney Police Crime Prevention Shop next to the cinema, opening times Monday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm. They cost 50p. Or purchase a marker kit that includes hologram warning labels and a record card for your phone's details. The kit costs £1.00

· Make a record of your phone's IMEI number. Press *#06# on your keypad and this will give you're your IMEI number. Write it down together with the number on your SIM card. Keep these details in a separate place from your mobile phone. If your phone gets lost/stolen then pass these details immediately to your service provider and the police. Your service provider will deactivate your phone so that even if the thief puts their own SIM card into your phone, it won't work. Until recently BT Cellnet and Vodafone did not have this technology but the good news is that they have just introduced it.

Please remember
No material possession is worth risking injury or your life over. They are replaceable. You are not!

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