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Police winning fight against York thieves


12:30pm 14th January 2011

Fewer people are falling victim to personal theft in York city centre, however police are warning the public to remain vigilant.

The Guildhall Safer Neighbourhood Team have been working hard to reduce the number of thefts of handbags, purses, mobile phones and wallets from shoppers and visitors to York.

Their efforts have been rewarded with an 18 per cent drop in this type of crime since 2008, with officers expecting the figure to fall further in 2011.

Despite the good work of police in combating personal thefts, they are urging individuals to take care of their belongs and help make life difficult for thieves.

PC Helen Pointon, of Guildhall Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

“Although York is a safe city to visit, it is important to be careful in crowded places.

“People need to be aware that it isn’t just people out shopping who fall victim to personal theft, but people who are out in pubs and bars in the evenings are also targets.

“It is easy to drop your guard when out socialising but you must remain vigilant and keep an eye on any personal belongings you have with you.”

The Guildhall Safer Neighbourhood Team are offering the following advice to residents and visitors to York, to help prevent them falling victim to crime: 

  • Do not leave any property unattended or purses on shop counters.
  • Keep a tight hold of bags when in busy streets or premises. Close the zip and keep the flap next to your body.
  • Don’t leave purses or wallets in back pockets or unsecured coat pockets.

PC Pointon also advised people to keep records of bank cards and the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number of mobile phones to allow them to be cancelled quickly if stolen .

She added:

“Should you fall victim to personal theft the police have more chance of recovering the property if you have comprehensive information about any items stolen.

“The most useful information to the police regarding mobile phones is the IMEI number . This is unique to each handset and can be found on the box the phone came in, underneath the sim card or by dialling * # 6 #. 

“If you can provide the IMEI number it makes it much easier to trace your stolen phone.”

Anyone who would like to report a personal theft can contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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