Street Robbery

Robbers want a quick payday and are much more likely to target you if they think it will be easy.

Criminals don’t see your mobile, jewellery, bike or wallet as personal property – they see them as a quick way to make some cash, so it pays to be mindful of security when out and about. Being vigilant, not advertising your valuables and keeping to well-lit areas are just some of the steps you can take to avoid becoming a robber’s quick payday.

This page provides tips on keeping yourself and your valuables safe, and also includes a video produced by Derbyshire Constabulary to raise awareness of the danger of street robbery.

Be aware of your surroundings

It might sound like an obvious point, but keeping an eye out for people acting suspiciously can prevent you from coming face-to-face with a robber. If you are walking in a secluded area and someone is behaving oddly nearby, consider taking an alternative route.

You should also stick to well-lit, populated areas when you can, as robbers are much less likely to strike if they think other people could be around.

Don’t advertise your valuables

When you have your mobile phone in your hand, it could be easy for a robber to walk up and snatch it from you, so make sure you know who is around when you’re calling, texting or using your phone.

Keep a tight grip on it when it’s in use, and when it’s not, put it away, out of sight and out of reach of others.

Try to avoid using a phone at night, and if you are, keep an eye on who is about. If you do have to use your phone, try to find an area that’s well-lit and if possible, avoid using it at train stations and bus stops, as these are areas that thieves target.

Be sure to use security features on your phone such as a pin or password lock, and if it has a tracker setting, make sure it’s enabled in the phone’s settings.

The same applies to wallets and purses – if you’re not using them, put them away, and if you’re using a handbag, make sure it’s zipped, secure, and kept tight to your body, under your arm.

Stick with your mates when you can

A robber often won’t view two or more people as an easy target, so sticking with a group can be a great deterrent. When you can, keep in a group or close to others. If you’re out on your own, try and walk in more populated and illuminated areas if possible.

Security mark your items

You can security mark almost any valuable in your possession. Smartphones, jewellery, bikes, tablet devices, watches – all of these can be engraved with unique codes, or have high-tech fluid dabbed on them using specialist kits.

Having your valuables marked means that, if they are stolen and later recovered by police, a database search will mean that officers can get those valuables back to you quickly. They can also act as a deterrent to criminals, who know how easy it is for police to pin them to a crime if they are found with stolen goods.

There are many ways in which you can get your valuables property marked. To find out more, call your local Safer Neighbourhood team on 101.

Register your property for free online

Immobilise.com is a free service that allows you to record the details of as many of your possessions as you wish on a secure, offsite inventory.

If you wish you can upgrade your free account and add photographs and certificates of ownership. It is the largest service of its type, with over 15 million registered users, 22 million items registered, and over 16 million stolen items recorded.

The recorded information can help you after loss, theft or fire when completing insurance claims and reporting stolen or lost property to the police and mobile phone networks.

If you have created an Immobilise account and your property is then lost or stolen, you can also log into your account and use the report facility. If the item is a mobile phone, report it to your network as well. The network can turn off the SIM card and the phone.

Want to find out more?

You can call your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team on 101 to find out more information about personal safety, and the steps you can take to prevent yourself from being targeted by criminals.

To find out more about protecting devices such as mobile phones, visit our Mobile Device Safety section.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.