Protect yourself from theft

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Beds Police is encouraging parents to help protect their teenage children from mobile phone and MP3 thefts by following a few simple rules.

Once the clocks go back this weekend the afternoons will become much darker, and police are warning young people to be more discrete when using their mobile phone.

They say the theft of mobile phones from young people can increase during the winter months, as offenders are less likely to be seen committing crime.

Crime reduction officer George Pugh said: “These are simple rules but following them could help young people avoid becoming victims of crime.

“If you are walking alone in the dark or in unfamiliar streets don’t show off your phone or MP3 player; keep an eye out for anyone suspicious who might approach you, particularly if several offenders try and box you in or trap you in an alleyway and always walk in well-lit areas.

He added: “If you are the victim of a crime get the best look you can at an offender’s face for distinctive features.

“Try and remember what they are wearing, any distinctive logos or items of clothing will help police track them down. Call us immediately – the police can often track down offenders soon after an offence occurs if they have a good description and can target the area where the offence has happened.

As part of this year’s Stay Safe Winter campaign, police are urging parents to get their youngsters to follow these few simple rules:

- Keep mobile phones, money or any items of value out of sight so as not to attract a potential robber’s attention.

- Avoid walking in dark areas with insufficient lighting.

- Avoid walking whilst texting or talking to prevent drawing attention to your phone.

- If someone suspicious approaches you, try and cross the road or walk away to limit your chances of being involved in a confrontation.

- Pay attention to someone approaching you from behind.

- If an offence is committed, try and remember what the offender looks like and get a good description of their face and clothes, then contact the police immediately.

- Register your mobile, MP3 player or iPod at in order to discourage theft and increase security. 

The website allows the public to register their mobile phone and many other devices free on the National Mobile Phone Register. 

Anyone with information relating to phone or other property thefts should call Bedfordshire Police on 101, text Bedfordshire Police on 07786 200011, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.