Public Safety: Preventing Pick Pocket Theft

During the festive season, you may find yourself in many public areas, whether you’re on vacation, attending any festivities or just doing some general Christmas shopping. Here are a few safety tips to avoid pickpocket theft in public areas.

Safety in Public

Tourists and Travelling

Travellers are often the most targeted by criminals; you may have heard tales of pickpockets, safety scams, dishonest taxi drivers, theft from hotel rooms and public criminal activities.

  • Carrying a money belt may deter pickpockets however criminals are aware of these and have developed tricks of relieving you of yours.
  • Instead you can try keeping small amounts of money in various pockets and wallets so that if you are a victim of a pickpocket you won’t be left stranded without money.
  • Another strategy is to carry a dummy wallet, protecting your valuables from theft. Being stranded in a foreign country without your passport and money can really ruin your holiday.
  • As travellers are targets for pickpockets, it’s advised not to act like a tourist. Don’t handle large amounts of cash, dress plainly, carry a small camera and always know where you are going.
  • Probably the best advice is to never travel with anything you can’t bare to loose.

Shopping

During the festive season shopping is a necessity but it is important to be aware of the various techniques criminals use to lift your valuable possessions off your person. Safety in public areas such as shopping malls is a must.

  • Try not to carry any handbags, if it is necessary keep it closed and held securely, the closer to your body it is, the more likely you will feel a potential pick pocket.
  • Pickpockets use tools such as razors to cut through pockets or purses as well as long inconspicuous tongs for reaching into handbags.
  • Being alert can ensure the safety of your belongings. Pick pockets often employ distractions such as beggars, street children with sad stories or spilling something on you so that you have to take out your valuable possessions to clean them.

Festivities

This is the time of year when most people are attending end of year parties and festive celebrations. If you are going to let your guard down, it’s important to ensure the safety of your belongings from criminal opportunists.

  • Don’t leave bags unattended or over the back of your chair as it becomes an easy target for thieves.
  • If you will not be driving, make sure you have made prior lift arrangements to avoid taxi scams. Also make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back as an extra safety measure.
  • Be aware of anyone bumping into you by mistake, if this happens, check that you still have all your possessions; this is a classic pick pocket technique.

When you’re on holiday, naturally you want to relax; however letting your guard down can have serious safety consequences. Enjoy yourself but also remember to consider the safety of your valuables, especially in crowded public areas.

 

 

 

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