Police advice after students robbed of mobile phones
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Students are being advised against giving unfamiliar people access to their mobile phones following a spate of thefts in Nottingham.
Officers are investigating a number of incidents where students were approached during a night out and told about an investment opportunity, such as a cryptocurrency scheme.
The unfamiliar person has then offered to add them to a group on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Snapchat.
This has led to some students handing over their phone so they could be added to the apparent group, but instead the unfamiliar person has walked off with their device.
When the student has tried to stop them, the phone thief has been joined by several accomplices who have gone on to threaten the victim with violence.
Last week, five suspects aged 17-21 were arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with some of the reports. They were later bailed pending further investigation.
Chief Inspector Karl Thomas, of Nottinghamshire Police, urged students, as well as the wider community, to be vigilant when enjoying Nottingham’s night-time economy.
“Having your phone stolen is an immensely upsetting experience and we are doing everything we can to bring offenders to justice.
“We don’t want this to happen to anyone else and so are encouraging students to follow some simple but effective tips to mitigate the risks of their phone being stolen.
“Nottingham is a safe place to live and socialise, but we would always ask students to remain vigilant. We ask people to report any suspicious behaviour to us directly, or door and venue staff to ensure we can act upon it.”
Students are encouraged to adhere to the following crime prevention tips:
When possible keep your phone out of sight in public areas.
Try to ensure a password or pin code lock is enabled on your phone.
When you leave a table/area, even for a short time, always take your phone with you. Never leave it unattended.
If a stranger asks to use your phone, don't hand your device over to them. Instead, action any request you’re happy to facilitate yourself (for example, entering a number into your phone or making a phone call on the person’s behalf).
Always stay alert when using your mobile phone and be aware of your surroundings.
If you lose or have your phone stolen, call your network provider and get the phone blocked as soon as possible.
Set up a tracking app on your phone so you can see where it is from another device in the event of it being lost or stolen. The iPhone has find my phone, and for android phones there is android device manager.
You can report a stolen phone by calling 101 or in an emergency call 999. Others ways to contact Nottinghamshire Police can be found on the force website.