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Pupils warned not to flaunt new gifts

Greater Manchester Police are urging pupils across Wigan and Leigh to keep new gadgets like mobile phones and MP3 players out of sight to avoid becoming a victim of street crime.

Local police will be delivering crime prevention messages to high schools in the borough over the coming weeks to warn pupils to leave their new Christmas presents at home or risk losing them.

January is a peak time for street robberies as people step out with valuable new Christmas presents, and young people aged 14-17 are the most likely victims according to police statistics.

Last January, there were over 15 reported crimes of street robbery throughout the Wigan borough.

Top of the shopping list for thieves are mobile phones, with figures showing they are stolen in half of all street robberies.

Wendy O’Neil, Crime Reduction Advisor for Wigan division, said:

We are urging children and young people to leave their valuables at home or hide them when they are on the bus, waiting at the bus stop, on the street or even at school.  Most robberies are opportunistic, so by keeping valuables out of view you can reduce your risk of becoming a target. While most people are out hunting for bargains in the sales, criminals may be on a spree of a different kind, especially in busy high street areas.

Police are issuing the following safety tips to pupils:

  • Leave your valuable items at home, or at least out of sight. Don’t show off your favourite Christmas presents on the bus, in the street or in other public places.
  • If you need to make a mobile phone call, go into a shop or café rather than phone or text on the street or on public transport. Don’t talk or text and walk!
  • If you have your phone in your pocket or bag, turn off the ringer so that you don’t advertise where it is being carried.
  • Use pin codes to lock your phone and register it at http://www.immobilise.com
  • Don’t bring large amounts of money to school. Only bring what you will spend that day – for example, just enough money for your lunch.
  • Keep to well-lit roads and public areas. Don’t use alleys or short-cuts.
  • Stay alert. Turn off your personal stereos – they stop you being aware of what’s going on around you.
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the road. If the person follows you, cross it again. If you are still worried, go at once to a place where there are lots of people, such as a busy shop, and tell someone what’s going on. If you can, speak to a police officer. If not, go to a family group rather than a single adult and tell them.

To report crime call police on 0161 872 5050 or for more information visit www.gmp.police.uk/mainsite/

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Bridgwater Police initiative hailed a success

The Bridgwater Mercury has reported that a local police initiative aimed at making people aware of the need to keep their personal possessions safe during the Christmas period has been hailed a success.

As part of Operation Relentless, police officers and PCSOs took to the streets with a range of personal safety initiatives.

More than 100 people visited an information stand set up by police in Angel Place that offered people advice on how to register the valuable possessions they may receive this Christmas, such as iPods, mobile phones, laptops and games consoles on a national database.

PCSOs were showing interested people how to navigate the Immobilise website, a Government-backed database that records the serial numbers of any possession in your home in an attempt to cut crime and make it easier for police to retrieve stolen items.

A number of PCSOs also took to car parks around the town to check if drivers were leaving personal belongings and even presents on the back seats of their vehicles as part of a vulnerable vehicle scheme.

PC Andy Jenrick said:

Operation Relentless was a brilliant day and we have managed to promote the Immobiliser website in mobile phone shops, jewellers and even the bigger electrical stores such as Currys and Comet.

More than 100 people came to make enquiries about how to register their personal items in Angel Place and the vulnerable vehicle scheme was also successful, with PCSOs finding between 80 to 100 potential targets of crime.

To read the source story in full please go to: Bridgewater Mercury

If you love it – register it

Greater Manchester Police is warning residents to register and property mark valuable gifts they get this Christmas so they can be returned if lost or stolen.They are advising people that:

Flat screen TVs, MP3 players, Sat Navs, laptops and mobile phones all feature heavily on letters to Santa this Christmas. Unfortunately they are also top of the most wanted lists of burglars, robbers and thieves.

By registering their valuables on www.immobilise.com owners can put details of their prized possessions on a national database that police can access and compare against items that have been found or recovered from suspected criminals.

The on-line service is totally free and is quick and easy to use. Items marked as being registered with Immobilise are less likely to be stolen, and households displaying Immobilise stickers are less likely to be targeted by burglars.

Almost any item with a serial number recovered by police can be returned to the owner if registered on the database. Users can also add photographs and certificates of ownership to their Immobilise account. Once registered users can update their account with details of new possessions, and take off items they no longer own.

A few minutes on-line can decrease the chances of your most precious possessions being stolen and increase the chances of you getting them back if they are.

To read the source press release go to: Greater Manchester Police

Norwich Police Promote Immobilise

Police in Norwich are promoting the Immobilise National Property register to help them address the issue of victims of theft not being able to accurately describe what has been stolen. They hope the scheme will help catch thieves and reunite owners of stolen property with their personal possessions.

Between September 1 to December 1, 246 pedal cycles were reported stolen in the city along with 162 mobile phones as well as other equipment like Sat Navs and iPods.

Inspector Michelle Lillie, from the University and Eaton Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), said: “We find that the main problem is when people report items as stolen they have very little details about what the property is.”

The website, www.immobilise.com allows people to upload pictures and detail information about personal property in case it is stolen.

Police then link into it when they recover stolen goods.

Insp Lillie added: “Police do recover property however because of the limited description of lost or stolen property it is difficult to match it to a previous owner making the job of proving an offence that little bit more difficult.”

“We are urging the public to help by keeping a record of all personal equipment with a serial or identifiable number and use the Immobilise registration service.”

Serial numbers are needed for goods and to register your mobile phone, you need to know your 15 digit IMEI handset number which can be found by keying in *#06# on the keypad or on a sticker underneath the battery.

For further information contact the University and Eaton SNT on 0845 456 4567 or go to www.safernorfolk.co.uk

To read the original story go to: Norwich Evening News