Don't become a summer victim of pickpockets - British Transport Police
Updated 11:14am Thursday 24th July 2014 in News
Don't be a victim of summer pickpockets and opportunist thieves, warn British Transport Police (BTP).
And to spread the message about keeping possessions safe teams of officers will travel in relay between London Paddington and Penzance on board First Great Western’s 12.06hrs departure from Paddington tomorrow.
Officers will be on board the service for the entire journey to Cornwall, offering advice and safety tips as well as handing out leaflets and answering any questions or concerns passengers may have.
The initiative, which involves BTP officers from Reading, Oxford, Exeter, Plymouth and Truro, follows the launch in 2013 of Operation Magnum - a crackdown on theft of passenger property on the railway.
As part of the initiative, BTP issued a series of video clips to help the travelling public spot the most common tricks thieves use.
Sgt Steve Reay, who has organised the initiative, said: “Op Magnum sees BTP officers working closely with train operating companies and local police forces to disrupt and deter thieves who prey on unsuspecting commuters and tourists at busy stations and on trains – particularly long distance journeys.
“Thieves use a variety of tactics, from brazenly snatching expensive smartphones and tablets from distracted passengers’ hands to stealing luggage and valuables from on board trains.
“The videos featured on the Op Magnum website - www.btp.police.uk/theft - and the BTP YouTube channel show passengers the 13 most common tricks thieves use.
“I hope you can take a few minutes to visit the website and view the videos to help avoid becoming a victim of crime.”
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
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 network to British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 In an emergency, always dial 999.