British Transport Police Launch Christmas Campaign In North Yorkshire
12:21pm 9th December 2013
You’d better watch out for festive thieves and Christmas crooks in North Yorkshire. That’s the message from British Transport Police (BTP) as they launch their Christmas campaign.
A number of special operations will be running at stations and on trains in the run up to Christmas and into the New Year. Extra uniform and plain clothes officers will be out and about undertaking extra patrols to tackle the theft of passenger property such as presents, suitcases, bags, bikes, mobile phones and laptops.
Officers will also be on the lookout for those who act anti-socially, whilst ensuring that rail staff are not subjected to any kind of abuse or assault.
As part of the campaign, BTP is revealing the tactics used by Christmas crooks to help the travelling public protect their gifts and personal belongings during the festive season.
The advice follows the launch of Operation Magnum earlier this year – BTP’s campaign to help Tube and rail passengers keep valuables safe from pickpockets, gadget-grabbers and luggage thieves.
As part of the initiative, officers have issued video clips on the festive Op Magnum website http://www.btp.police.uk/theft to help the travelling public spot the 13 most common tricks thieves use.
Officers are also asking for the assistance of the public to help identify a number of people caught on camera stealing passenger’s property and have issued a gallery of their most wanted.
BTP Superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “Traditionally we see a rise in the number of people using trains and stations at this time of year. Unfortunately with this we also see an increase in thieves targeting passengers on the railway. They often look to take advantage of people who may have consumed too much alcohol, or who may be traveling with a lot of luggage to visit family and friends, or unsuspecting shoppers carrying bags containing expensive presents home.
“We want to create a hostile environment for thieves, making it as difficult as we can for them to operate on any part of the railway network this Christmas. We are undertaking extra high visibility and under cover patrols and will be using the excellent CCTV system on the rail network to catch people in the act and put them before the courts.
“This campaign is also about education. We want people to be aware of the tactics that thieves use and how best they can safeguard themselves and look after their property on crowded trains and at stations.”
In the run-up to Christmas, officers will be handing out luggage tags and leaflets with crime prevention advice as well as activity sheets for younger travellers.
Officers will also be encouraging passengers to register their mobile phones and electrical devices to ‘immobilise.com’, a website that helps police reunite lost or stolen items to the owner.
Superintendent Wylie added: “We are also appealing for help from members of the public to help us identify a number of people we would like to speak to in connection with these types of crimes. Officers investigating each of these cases have followed a number of lines of enquiry and circulated the images on police intelligence systems, and in some cases to the media, but so far without success.
“We’re now asking for help from members of the public. If you know any of these people and can tell us who they are, we want to hear from you.”
Anyone with any information about the incidents, or who recognises anyone pictured in the CCTV images, should contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or via text on 61016 quoting background log NEA/B5 of 4/12/2013 and the reference number on the image.
There are a number of other steps people can take to keep their property as safe as possible when on the rail network.
• Keep purses secure and carry wallets in an inside pocket
• Zip up hand and shoulder bags
• Carry bags in front of you, with flaps against your body
• Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm
• Don't display jewellery, mobile phones and MP3 players
• Don't show your money - keep it safely in your pocket
• Stay alert and aware of what's going on around you when using your phone in public
• Keep your luggage close by and check it regularly
Your IMEI number:
Keeping a note of your mobile phone or tablet IMEI number can help police return lost or stolen items to the owner.
To find your IMEI number:
• Dial * on the keypad and the IMEI number will be displayed.
• Remove the battery of the phone — the IMEI number will be identified on a sticker underneath.
• On an iPhone and iPad, go to Settings > General > About. Scroll down to IMEI to find the 14 digit number.
Then install a tracker app and then register your details on immobilise.com, which will help us identify your property if it is recovered.
If you think your property has been stolen:
• Stay calm and don't panic. Report it to a member of transport staff or a police officer straight away
• Report a theft on the railway or London Underground to British Transport Police on0800 40 50 40 or text 61016
• In an emergency, always dial 999
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