Hide me: keep valuables out of sight
Here are a number of simple steps to take while you're out and about.
- Watch your mobile phone, MP3 players and other valuables
- Don't leave your phone on tables in pubs or restaurants;
- Avoid using your phone when getting on or off the bus or tram, as thieves target people, who are distracted;
- If you need to make a call in public, make it brief and keep an eye out for those around you;
- Keep mobile phones, MP3 players, laptops, car keys, credit cards and personal stereos out of sight;
- Register your mobile phone and valuables for free using the national database that Police can access to compare items that have been found or recovered from suspected criminals, so if you register your valuables, you might be reunited with them if lost or stolen; and
- If your phone is stolen, report it to your network operator, also report it to Immobilise on 08701 123 123 (if registered with them) and Greater Manchester Police. Your phone can be blocked, just like a stolen credit card. Once blocked, it cannot be used again.
Take care of credit/debit cards
- Keep your cards separate from your chequebooks;
- Never let them out of your sight or pass on your PIN;
- Don't leave cards behind the bar or counter - staff could copy your details; and
- If your credit/debit cards are stolen, call your bank or credit card company to cancel them immediately. Don't wait until you get home. You can find 24-hour emergency numbers on bank statements and cash machines.
Keep safe on the move
- Carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Keep it zipped up, and make sure your wallet or purse can't be seen;
- Try not to keep all your valuable possessions in the same place, keep your mobile, purse, keys and credit/debit cards separately;
- Cover up expensive jewellery and, if you must carry other valuables, be discreet. Talking on your mobile, wearing headphones or carrying a laptop all show thieves you have things worth taking; and
- Have your house keys ready so you can get in the front door quickly.
ATMs (cash machines)
- If you need to use cash machines, do so during the day and use machines inside banks if you can. If not, choose ones on a busy street with good lighting;
- Cover the keyboard so that no-one can see the number you enter. If someone starts distracting you or stands close by, cancel the transaction and walk away;
- When you withdraw cash, put it away immediately; and
- Limit the amount of cash you withdraw from the cash machine or use the Cash-back facility from stores instead.
Keep your bag safe at all times
- Be aware of where your bag is at all times when you are in a bar, pub, club, restaurant or on campus - don't just place it on the floor next to your feet where an opportunist thief could distract you and take your possessions; and
- Avoid having your bag open and your valuables on view/ within easy reach.
Remember: You can register your valuable belongings for free at Immobilise.