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.


5 Tips For Cutting The Cost Of Traveling November 21 2017, 0 Comments

Traveling to any part of the world is not cheap and can cost a lot of money for people that do not early and begin their journey looking at brochures distributed by tour and travel operators. Hotels, car rental, tours and airfare can all cost a hefty sum for individuals who may not want to indulge in heavy expenditure.

The commercials, which are generally seen on the TV and magazines, are regularly featuring high-end vacations and promoting resorts and cruises, which are unaffordable to most. However, it does not mean that a traveller who is careful cannot cut the cost of travel by planning in advance. It is for such travellers that we are offering 5 tips for cutting the cost of travelling.

What can an individual to cut back on the expenses of travel?

 

Enroll For A Travel Related Credit Card

Travelers can accumulate thousands of miles without even moving out of their home when they enrol for a travel-related credit card. They can utilise the sign-up bonuses, which are offered by airline credit cards to accumulate the miles. Most carriers are offering a branded credit card with about 30,000 to 50,000 bonus points when signing up. Travel related other providers also offer credit cards and the miles accumulated can save the intending traveller and lot of money by way of airfare.

 

Being Flexible With Flights Is Also Beneficial

Minor changes in travel plans can save travellers a bundle of money especially if they’re purchasing tickets for the entire family. The money saved could very well give the traveller a mobile casino free bonus making it easier for him or her also to have some entertainment during the travel. The changes do not have to be drastic and travellers just need to plan their travel during the week rather than the end of the week.

 

Traveling Off-Season Will Also Prove Helpful

The summer may be the best time to visit Europe but travellers are likely to pay a higher price for everything because they have decided to travel during the rush season. Traveling during the shoulder seasons or after the peak season has ended will prove helpful and make them liable to receive plenty of discounts.

 

Searching for Hotel Deals

Searching for hotel deals should be high on the minds of travellers because it is the best way for them to get affordable accommodation. Browsing through the Internet travellers can come across a number of websites, which are all offering great deals throughout the year. People will make travel plans in advance will become eligible for discounts which may not be available at the last minute.

 

Using Alternative Methods Of Traveling

Travelers do not need to book airline tickets for every destination they plan to visit. Train tickets in Europe will be available at a cost of 50% or less if the bookings are made two weeks in advance. When used appropriately a rail pass can save travellers hundreds of dollars.

People that are planning a vacation are advised to consider all aspects of their travel and make bookings well ahead of time because it is the best way to cut the costs of travelling. Spending some time browsing on the Internet for the information needed will not only prove beneficial but will also save the travelers enough money to plan for another trip without wasting a lot of time.


6-fold increase in pickpocketing in just 8 years November 02 2017, 0 Comments

Pickpocketing in Malta has last year reached an all-time high of almost 2,500 cases, an average of seven reported a day. These statistics have forced the Maltese parliament to address the issue in public. While Malta may not be the best example of the situation worldwide, this is a statistical reflection of the rise in pickpocketing cases reported worldwide and a demonstration of how brazen, professional, organised and adaptive thieves are becoming. 

This worrying trend, which has been developing over a number of years, is even more pronounced when considering that the overall total for 2016 shows a sixfold increase when compared to 2009.

Details on various thefts offence committed last year were tabled in Maltese Parliament recently by Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela in reply to a question by Opposition MP Beppe Fenech Adami.

The places to avoid were the main tourist hotspots of Valletta and Paceville.

It transpired that, in 2016, pickpocketing was the most common type of theft reported, with 2,447 cases. This was 20 per cent up over the previous year. According to the data, this offence rose steadily since 2013. Four years ago 1,469 pickpocketing cases were reported, followed by 1,538 in 2014 and 2,030 in 2015.

This trend has been linked to a number of Eastern European gangs, some of whom have been brought to justice already and further demonstrates that this is a pattern seen all over Europe and not just in Malta. In Paris for example, the rise in pickpockets around the metro and Eiffel tower have seen a number of Eastern European gangs prosecuted as has London's Transport Police in relation to a rise in thefts on the London Underground. 

Cases the police refer to as “snatch-and-grab”, whereby the offender forcibly obtains personal belongings like bags, purses and mobile phones, increased to 179 in 2016, an increase of 41 per cent over 2013.

Though no detailed overall breakdown of the localities where pickpockets are most likely to strike was divulged, this newspaper last month reported that, in 2016, one in every eight offences was reported in Malta's tourism hub, Valletta. This data confirms earlier research carried out by criminologist Saviour Formosa who had concluded that, in 2015, the places to avoid were Valletta and Paceville.

Safe not sorry

• The Maltese police rolled out a crime prevention campaign last summer targeting the spike in pickpocketing together with a number of tips to avoid being targeted.

Keep purses secure and carry wallets in an inside pocket.

• Bags should be carried in front with flaps against your body.

• Keep straps short and bags tucked under the arms.

• Do not display any jewellery.

• Do not show any money – keep it safely in your pockets.

• Stay alert and aware of what is going on around you.

• If possible, install a tracker application on your smartphone.

• Keep a record of the unique reference number (IMEI) of your phone – this can be retrieved by dialling *#06#.

• Use your phone’s security lock or PIN number.

• Do not write PIN numbers for credit/debit cards on your mobile phone.