Public reminded to secure their valuables

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
Newry City Neighbourhood Policing Team is reminding the public of the importance of securing their valuables, both in their vehicles and in their home. The reminder comes following a number of thefts from handbags in the Newry City area last week as reported in Newry Times. Thieves are seizing opportunities to take valuable items such as purses, handbags and mobile phones from unsuspecting victims. The incidents over the last week have been reported from locations right across Newry and Mourne. Not only have shoppers been victims but staff in various premises have also lost personal items. Speaking to Newry Times, Inspector David Hutchinson from Newry City Neighbourhood Policing Team said, “It is important to be on your guard when withdrawing cash from banks, building societies or credit unions. Be aware of who may be watching or around you and by taking a few simple precautions you will make it very difficult for the opportune thief to deprive you of your possessions.” Police would also appeal to members of the public who use car parks right across the city not to leave valuable items within the vehicle. Thieves continue to target vehicles where items of value are left inside the vehicle in plain sight.

Key tips to ensure you don’t become the victim of theft:

  • Be careful when drawing out large amounts of cash from cash machines or when withdrawing cash from building societies, banks or credit unions.
  • Be aware of others in your vicinity.
  • Be mindful of where you keep this on your person if not going to use it immediately.
  • Do not leave your purse of handbag unattended – as it is liable to be stolen.
  • If you can use your bank or credit cards as they are safer than carrying around large amounts of cash.
  • Handbags should not be left in shopping trolleys or over the handles of prams. Always keep your bag on your person and always keep it closed and carry it in such a way that you will know if someone is trying to interfere with it.
  • Be particularly suspicious of people bumping into you and of strangers suddenly striking up a conversation.
  • If this happens to you, check that your belongings are secure and that nothing has been stolen. Should a theft have taken place, report the matter to us promptly so that we can alert CCTV to what has happened and also take steps to identify and apprehend those responsible.
  • Local police will again be conducting Operation Habit, to identify vehicles which have been left with valuables in plain sight and the Crime Prevention Officer will be contacting the owners to advise them of the danger of theft/criminal damage by doing so.
  • Neighbourhood Officers will be handing out leaflets regarding general crime prevention advice regarding your home and vehicle.  If you would like to have a leaflet please make contact with the Neighbourhood Policing Team who will arrange to provide you with a leaflet.
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