Author Topic: Pick pockets  (Read 2143 times)

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Pick pockets
« on: August 26, 2005, 10:30:25 am »
Herts police have just emailed this site with a pickpocket alert, reproduced below.

August 26, 2005
By Corporate Communication Dept

ACROSS the county there have been reports of pickpockets operating in town centres and supermarkets, 'dipping' for purses.

Police are taking positive action to deter would-be pickpockets and to arrest anyone who commits this type of theft but there are measures that shoppers can take themselves to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

Chief Inspector Michael Pryce, from the County Community Safety Unit, issued the following advice:

- Be alert when you are out and about. Be aware of who is around you, especially in a crowd and move away if you feel a stranger is too close to you.
- Keep purses and wallets as secure as you can - women should keep bags closed up and men should keep their valuables in their front pockets, not in trouser back pockets.
- When carrying a bag try to make sure that you keep it to your front so you can see it at all times. Preferably use a bag with a zip but if there isn't one, put your purse and other valuables at the bottom of your bag and not near the top where they could be seen and easily snatched.
- Remember to be as careful with a mobile phone as you are with your purse or wallet.

He said: "We are working with the supermarkets and large store chains to try to raise awareness amongst staff which will help keep pickpockets away and help customers to protect their belongings."

He also explained that there have been spates of purse dippings carried out by people, very often women, of Eastern European appearance. While many Eastern Europeans have settled legally in the UK, Hertfordshire Constabulary is working with the Immigration Service to try to ensure that anyone arrested or charged with theft who is an illegal immigrant can be deported.

Knowledge from some arrests made in Hertfordshire, and from other police forces, about teams of pickpockets from Eastern European countries show that they are committing crime to pay back their illegal passage to the UK.

They frequently travel by train from London to market towns to carry out several offences in one go before returning by train back to London.

Most Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Hertfordshire which cover a town centre area have been handing out crime prevention advice leaflets and asking shops to display warning posters. In St Albans, officers have also handed out free key chains to shoppers to secure purses and wallets and make them less vulnerable to theft.

"We want to make Hertfordshire a 'no go area' for pickpockets," said Ch Insp Pryce.
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