AN increase in theft incidents in Wigan town centre has led police officers to issue advice on how to keep personal belongings safe.
Neighbourhood officers have urged residents to remain vigilant after what they describe as a “dramatic increase” in thefts of mobile phones in particular.
A spokesman for Wigan Division’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) said: “Residents can reduce the risk of mobile theft by following a few simple steps.
“Don’t leave your phone on tables in pubs or restaurants and try to avoid walking and texting at the same time, you will be less aware of what is happening around you and the phone will be on show.
“Keep calls in public places as brief as possible, the longer you talk, the more likely you are to be spotted by a potential thief.
“Don’t tempt these mobile phone thieves, be aware when making a call.”
Examples of mobile theft have been seen across the borough in recent weeks and not just in the town centre.
Earlier this month an 11-year-old boy had his mobile stolen by two thieves after walking past a bus-stop in Lowton.
While earlier this year, a teenage girl had her phone snatched by three men in broad daylight while she was walking on Cale Lane in New Springs.
Wigan NPT is also urging people to approach their local PCSOs and ask for them to security mark mobile phones, which would make them easier to track if they were to be stolen. Smartphone owners are also advised to use tracker applications should their device go missing.
The spokesman added: “Remember that thieves frequently operate in crowded places in the town centre such as railway stations, around cash machines and bus stations, especially at rush hour.”
To report incidents of mobile theft contact Wigan police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For information visit www.gmp.police.uk