I hope you’re all well and staying safe. As you know, I usually talk about home and building security, so I thought I’d use my blog to talk about personal theft in the next few months. Personal theft is when you have personal belongings taken from you, such as a mobile phone or a handbag.

My first piece of advice is to only carry what you need in any given situation. It may sound obvious, but we often grab our usual bag and leave home with all our personal items, when we might not actually need them. For example, if you’re off for a night out at a bar or a club, you probably don’t need items such as your work keys, your car keys, if you’re planning to have a drink, large sums of cash or all your store and credit cards. Please take a few moments before you leave home, to consider the absolute essentials that you need. Don’t take address books, spare spectacles, sunglasses, friends’ or families’ spare keys, sentimental items or wear very expensive jewellery.

I was recently called out to a lady’s home, as she needed help getting back in to her home because her bag was stolen with her keys in during a night out. She couldn’t have avoided taking her house keys with her, but she told me that her whole life was in her bag. One thing that may be worth doing, is to have a secure photocopy of everything that is in your purse or wallet. See the article by Tricia Phillips on her Handbag Hell, to find out how she felt when she had her handbag stolen.

Having personal items stolen or snatched can be very distressing and it’s important to understand how it may affect you. It may make you more anxious when going out in future for example. Victim Support can offer advice and help to those who have been victims of any crime, including personal theft and burglary.

If you do have your handbag stolen, then it’s important to know what to do.

Check your Handbag has been Stolen

If your bag was snatched then it’s clear cut, but if you suddenly notice you don’t have it, retrace your steps to ensure you haven’t left it somewhere. Check with bar and restaurant owners you’ve been to and check your car or call cab companies that you have used during your journey.

Cancel your cards

If you are certain your handbag has been stolen, call your bank and other credit card issuers and cancel all cards immediately.

Report the theft

Contact the Police to report that you’ve been a victim of a crime.

Call your Mobile Phone Company

If your mobile phone has been stolen, call your mobile phone company as soon as you can. They will be able to block your SIM card and your phone. Having it protected with the latest fingerprint technology or a PIN will also make it more difficult for thieves to access your mobile phone.

Have your locks changed

Call a reputable locksmith to change your locks as soon as possible if your keys were in your stolen handbag. Check the MLA website for locksmiths in your area.

We really hope that you’re not a victim of crime, but if you are, taking some of the precautions suggested here may minimise the impact. Next month, we’ll be providing advice on what to do if your mobile phone is stolen. Until then, stay safe.

Author : Mark Radford
Added on : 2015-02-22