The Clever Travel Companion Updates

Video shows just how easy it is to be pickpocketed this Christmas December 11 2017, 0 Comments

The above video highlights just how easy it is to become the victim of pickpocketing - especially as the high streets, shopping centres and malls get busier in the festive period.

The clip, released by Nationwide building society, a UK Bank, aims to warn people to be more vigilant as they go about their festive shopping this year.

The social experiment was performed by expert pickpocket and entertainer Lee Thompson.

Lee, who advises the police on street theft techniques, said: “Unfortunately pickpocketing is very common, especially in areas where crowds gather and people are distracted.

"A good pickpocket understands human psychology and knows people can only direct their attention to one or two things at a time."

There were 442,000 "theft from persons" offences in the year ending June 2015 in England and Wales alone.

Nationwide polled just over 2,000 street theft victims and found that mobile phone theft accounted for 15% of all incidents with the average value of each loss totalling £221 (approx $300).

Apple's iPhones tops the thieves' wish list, followed by other brands, such as Samsung.

The survey also found trouser and coat pockets are the most common place to steal from, accounting for 34% of incidents.

Bags worn over the shoulder or on the back accounted for 26% of incidents while theft from a bag on the floor or table came in at 18%.

Two thirds of victims (66%) were with someone else or a group; a third (32%) were on their own.

Just 19% of culprits were caught, with four in ten victims (40%) not going to the police because they either didn’t think the thief would be caught (25%) or couldn’t be bothered to report it (9%).

According to those surveyed, London was the most common place for pickpockets to operate with Manchester coming in second, Birmingham third, Glasgow fourth and Leeds fifth.

Dan King, Nationwide’s Head of the Current Accounts, said: “Christmas and sales events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday are a perfect opportunity for criminals to fill their festive wishlist.

"At this time of year people tend to carry more cash on them, making it really easy and lucrative for pickpockets to operate.

"Mobile phone thefts make up a large percentage of all property stolen on the streets and it's not just the phone itself that is valuable, but also the personal data it contains."

Lee's Top Tips to Avoid Pickpockets

Be vigilant - if you suspect someone is following you, stop what you are doing and walk in a different direction.

Don't look like a tourist - pickpockets love tourists because they often carry lumps of cash and are not paying attention.

Travel light - leave any unnecessary valuables in your hotel room or at home.

Don't wear clothes that make you stand out - High end clothes, expensive jewellery or watches make you a walking advertisement for a pickpocket. The Clever Travel Companion range is perfect for this with it's plain aesthetic and secure zipper pockets. 

Don't advertise - if you have to travel with your valuables, keep them out of sight as much as possible.

Cash machines - use well-lit cash machines at a reputable building society or bank.

Secure your backpack - rucksacks are an easy target for pickpockets. Make sure they are securely fastened and secure valuables in your front pockets or a money belt. Keep your bags in sight at all times.


How to avoid a pickpocket November 17 2017, 0 Comments

The below video comes from a Chinese public service announcement to help members of the public identify and avoid pickpockets. As China has grown and more and more of the population join the ranks of the middle class, cities become more cramped, valuables become more available and more popular, as a result a number of cities have suffered from increased numbers of pickpockets and related crimes. 

The video is a great resource for any safety conscious travelers, especially those who might be considering China as a destination! It also demonstrates the number of ingenious and well developed methods pickpockets will use not only to get their hands on your valuables but to do so without ever being seen. That said, none of the victims in the below vid had access to Clever Travel Companion clothing, so they're already at a disadvantage! 

 



Only 1 in every 100 reported pickpocketing cases solved November 05 2017, 0 Comments

The number of pickpocketing cases has been soaring, with a sixfold increase in eight years being the latest statistics coming out of Europe, but it remains one of the most difficult crimes to solve it seems.

Replying to a Parliamentary Question by European Union member Malta's Member of Parliament, Glenn Bedingfield, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia revealed that an average of 25 people a year are arraigned, a total of 116 between 2013 and the first nine months of September.

However, a story published in the Times of Malta last March puts these figures into a very different context: there were 2,447 cases of pickpocketing reported to the police in 2016, but only 29 arraignments – barely one in a 100, although some arraignments may have been for multiple cases.

Malta has become something of a pioneer in its efforts to address growing numbers of  pickpockets and reported crimes. The growth in pickpocketing across Europe is common knowledge among affected locals but very little has been made clear as to the precise extent of the problem, nor does it seem to be an issue top politicians are willing to address publicly. Malta has bucked that trend and in doing so, allowed the public to understand the true brevity of the situation.

Barely 1 in 100 cases solved, that's 1% of the cases actually reported end in arrest and estimates are that less than half of pickpocketing cases end up in the hands of the police in the first place. 

Opt for prevention, don't wait until its too late.