Personal Possessions Security
It seems we all need to carry more of our personal possessions around with us these days. Cash in your wallet or purse; store cards, credit cards, and mobile phones are just some of the everyday items that are sorely missed if they are stolen.
- All these possessions might seem invaluable, but according to the police the best advice for hanging on to your personal possessions is “only take what you need with you”. They suggest you learn to minimise the amount of possessions you carry. If you don’t need a camera with you, don’t take it and the same goes for cash and credit cards, only take what cash you need and don’t take all your credit cards just the ones you are likely to use.
- Make a note of the telephone number (generally located on the reverse of the card) on all your credit cards, store cards and membership cards. Keep the details in a safe place at your home. You may also wish to upload the information to a cloud-based company such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Keep your purse or wallet somewhere where you can feel it, such as an inside jacket or trouser pocket. Pockets that can be zipped or buttoned are best. Check every now and then to make sure you still have your wallet or purse on you, but don’t make this too obvious as pickpockets can spot you doing this.
- Keep your mobile phone out of sight – in a zipped-up pocket is best. If you carry a bag, strap it across your chest and keep hold on to it, but at the same time try not to look overly cautious. Keep the zip, fastener or opening towards you. Be aware that backpack style bags are especially vulnerable to thieves.
- Do not leave your bag unattended in a public place, such as in a pub, coffee bar or shop.
- While having a coffee (particularly in tourist locations with nearby souvenir displays stands and stalls), keep your handbag or camera on your lap, alternatively if you need to place it on the floor, place the strap of the bag/camera case under your chair leg. Thieves are known to conceal themselves within tourist display stalls, waiting for unsuspecting tourists to choose tables that are situated close by.
- Try to appear relaxed, but at the same time be thoughtful about your surroundings. Pickpockets like busy streets and crowded places. (Someone bumping into you could well be a pickpocket). If this happens, check you still have your personal possessions, but be discreet, avoid making this look too obvious.
- If something is stolen, go to the nearest police station or call the police. Think carefully before chasing after someone or trying to restrain a thief. The value of what they have stolen may be minor compared to the consequences of being attacked. Always put your own safety first.