Beware of thieves on public transport in the run up to Christmas

Police, firefighters and ambulance service crews are working together on a road safety awareness week.
Police, firefighters and ambulance service crews are working together on a road safety awareness week.

British Transport Police is warning people to be extra vigilant in the run up to Christmas to avoid becoming the victim of opportunistic thieves.

Christmas is the perfect time of year for thieves to strike and officers are calling on the travelling public to keep an eye on their shopping as well as phones, purses, handbags and their contents.

The warning comes as shoppers are set to make a last minute dash to buy gifts and amid the hustle and bustle, thieves could be lurking ready to take advantage of busy trains and stressed out shoppers.

The advice from BTP officers is to keep your wits about you and to watch out for purse and bag dippers.

PCSO Dax Byrne-Turner of Preston BTP said: “Passengers should keep their luggage and belongings with them or in sight at all times on their journey.

“Most of the theft that occurs on trains in this area is down to opportunists taking unattended small bags and electronic gadgets like phones and tablets which are often left behind by their owners. Let’s work together to make sure any would be thieves don’t get the opportunity to strike.

“Pay attention to your property. As well as the risk of having it stolen, anything left unattended runs the risk of being removed, damaged or destroyed without warning by rail staff or members of the security services in the interests of public safety.”

While crime on trains and at stations is thankfully rare, uniformed and plain clothed police officers will be out in force over Christmas looking for known thieves and engaging with and advising the public on how best to protect their possessions.

Learn more about the tactics of thieves here http://www.btp.police.uk/theft/#sthash.1khgRMYB.dpbs.