In the last two weeks there have been over a hundred thefts from bars and nightclubs in Bristol city centre. Avon and Somerset Police have started another campaign to try and prevent these incidents. Police are reminding people to take care of their possessions when they are out at night. Sergeant Sean Underwood said: “50% of the whole force area’s theft problem comes from mobile phone and purse theft at night”. He said: “The majority of these happen when people have had too much to drink and they leave their phone or bag somewhere and go off to the bar or to dance.” Bristol Life spoke to Sergeant Sean Underwood:
The police have had several campaigns in the last year to tackle the problem. Last year they had a campaign called ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ where police went into a bar or club for a minute and saw how many phones they could grab without being noticed. Despite these campaigns, the number of thefts is still high. Sergeant Underwood said:”There are people that feel they are more deprived than they were a few years ago, plus smart phones are a massive business at the moment – they’re the ones that are worth money.”
“Smart phones are a massive business at the moment”
As part of the latest campaign, bar staff have been wearing brightly coloured tops with the slogan ‘think phone’, and police have stamped people’s hands as they queue outside clubs, to remind them to check on their phones.
Sergeant Underwood said: “A lot of it is about trying to raise people’s awareness, trying to get them to look after their property a bit more.” He has also been raising awareness of the dangers on Twitter:
Sarah Holland had her bag stolen from a pub in Bristol and the police were unable to retrieve it or catch the thief. Sarah said: “I was completely oblivious to the fact that my bag was stolen until I went to go and pick it up.” “When I looked back at the CCTV of it happening, I even remembered the guy who took it walking past. When he walked back the other way he must have picked it up, but I didn’t notice at the time.” Bristol Life spoke to Sarah about her experience: