Clubbers are being urged to be vigilant following recent mobile phone thefts from nightclubs and bars in Peterborough.
The warning comes after 17 separate incidents have happened in the city centre so far this year.
The incidents have mostly taken place in busy nightclubs and bars where thieves have taken phones from pockets or handbags which are not secured.
Helen O’Driscoll, crime reduction officer for Peterborough, said: “Club-goers need to be aware that thieves are operating in the bars and clubs. Women’s handbags are a target as are phones from easily accessible pockets and loose jackets.
“In many incidents women have been distracted by one offender while another steals the phone or purse. These criminals are professional in their tactics and a simple ‘push’ or ‘bump’ in a crowded bar area could lead to your phone being stolen in a matter of seconds. Please report any suspicious people or activity immediately to staff.”
You can help keep your mobile safe from thieves by making it difficult for them. Police advice is to:
. Be alert and aware of your surroundings when out and about
. Try not to use your device in very crowded places where it could be snatched
. Keep your device with you at all times
. Be aware of your personal space in public areas and ensure bags are not left unattended
. Install a tracking app to your device as this can help us recover your device
. If possible position your bags across your body so zips or clasps are towards your body, ensuring phones and other valuables are within inner compartments in your bag
. Retain a copy of your phone’s IMEI number – this is a unique 15-digit number which can be obtained by keying in *#06#, you will need this information if the phone is lost or stolen
. Use your device’s security features, apps or PIN locking mechanisms to protect your data and prevent the phone being used if stolen.
Anyone who sees any suspicious behaviour is urged to report online at www.cambs.police.uk/report or call police on 101.