Keep pricey Christmas presents out of sight, warn Havering Police

Youngsters who have been bought expensive mobile phones and portable electronic gadgets such as, ipods, and mobile gaming devices for Christmas are being urged to be careful when using them in public.

Costly electronic items are becoming commonplace with young people and are when used inappropriately in a public place can increase their risk of being targeted for crime.

These items can cost up to �400 and Havering Council and police are urging parents who have bought one for a family member as a present to make sure their children use common sense when using them.

Cllr Geoff Starns, cabinet member for community safety, said: “No-one would dream of walking down a street with up to �400 in cash held against their ear – but people sometimes don’t consider the risks when using mobile phones, notebooks or MP3 players.

“Be sensible when you’re using portable electronic items and be aware of your surroundings.”

Det Insp Chris Kreille of Havering police said: “Havering is generally one of the safest boroughs in the Met in respect of street robbery –however we would ask all those who live, work or socialise in Havering to be especially vigilant against the risks.”

Out of sight

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• Keep phones out of sight – especially when using public transport and entering and exiting train or bus stations.

• Keep an eye on your phone when attending crowded areas, shopping centres, leaving schools and colleges and when socialising in food and drink outlets.

• Where possible travel in a group or pairs to increase security.

• Only give your number to family, and to friends that you trust.

• Keep Bluetooth off in public places and name the Bluetooth with a nickname or call sign rather than personal data.

• Use an ultra-violet marker pen to label your phone.

• Register it with Immobilise – the UK’s National Property Register.

• Have the phone security marked and keep a clear record of its details including the IMEI number. The IMEI is a 15-digit serial number which can be obtained by keying *#06# into your phone or by looking behind the phone battery.