POLICE chiefs have launched a new campaign to reduce the number of people in South Derbyshire who fall victim to street robberies.
Derbyshire Police has issued tips and advice to help people make sure they do not become an 'easy target' for criminals over the summer months – particularly youngsters who are on holiday from school.
A spokesman for the force said: "It might sound like an obvious point, but keeping an eye out for people acting suspiciously can prevent you from coming face to face with a robber.
"If people are walking in a secluded area and someone is behaving oddly nearby, consider taking an alternative route.
"People should also stick to well-lit, populated areas when they can, as robbers are much less likely to strike if they think other people could be around.
"When people have their mobile phone in their hand, it could be easy for a robber to walk up and snatch it, so make sure you know who is around when calling, texting or using your phone.
"Keep a tight grip on it when it's in use, and when it's not put it away, out of sight and out of reach of others.
"Try to avoid using a phone at night, and if people are they should keep an eye on who is about.
"If people do have to use a phone, they should try to find an area that's well-lit and, if possible, avoid using it at train stations and bus stops, as these are areas that thieves target.
"Be sure to use security features on phones such as a PIN or password lock, and if it has a tracker setting, make sure it's enabled in the phone's settings.
"The same applies to wallets and purses – if you are not using them put them away, and if you are using a handbag make sure it's zipped, secure and kept tight to the body.
"A robber often won't view two or more people as an easy target, so sticking with a group can be a great deterrent.
"When people can, they should keep in a group or close to others. If out on your own, try to walk in more populated and illuminated areas."