POLICE chiefs have issued advice to young people in a bid to help them avoid becoming victims of robbery.
West Midlands Police, Staffordshire Police and Derbyshire Police are among several forces who are working to try to cut the number of youngsters being targeted by crooks.
The advent of modern technology has seen more youths than ever owning smartphones and expensive gadgets, making them prime targets for criminals.
Now, police chiefs have offered up a series of top tips in a bid to keep them safe.
A spokesman for the force said: “Youngsters should never leave their mobile phone in plain sight on a bar or restaurant table – it may be within their reach but it will also be within reach of a thief.
“They need to make sure they don’t hang handbags on the back of chairs, put them out of sight under a table or leave them unattended.
“It takes a matter of seconds for valuable contents, such as mobile phones or purses, to be gone
“People should keep bags close and never put valuables in their back pockets.
“They also need to make sure they are discreet when using mobile phones or handling cash and, when paying at a till, put cards or change straight back into wallets or purses and ensure it is secure.
“They have to be aware of their surroundings and that they don’t be flash with cash and gadgets.
“They must make sure they listen to their instincts, look confident, know the route they are taking and avoid badly lit streets.
“They also need to make sure that they don’t let headphones restrict their ability to hear traffic, strangers or potential trouble.
“Valuables – especially jewellery – need to be kept out of sight, and put jewellery chains under clothing.
“Keep keys separate from anything with an address on it.”
People are being urged to register their electronic devices online at www.immobilise.com