Crime can occur anywhere and everywhere. When it occurs in your community, it can impact your safety and wellbeing. Familiarize yourself with what is classified as criminal activity, so that you can prevent and reduce crime while protecting yourself.

What types of behaviour should you report?

  • vandalism and graffiti
  • drug trafficking
  • verbal and physical abuse
  • reckless driving
  • theft and B&E

What can you do?

If you want to take action, contact the police as soon as possible. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call 1-800-222-TIPS, text “BCTIPS” and your tip to 274637, or visit to report your tip.


There are several steps you can take to ensure your safety when you’re away from home. Here are a few:

While out Shopping

  • Keep your handbag zipped at all times – crowded shopping areas make you an easier target
  • Stay alert when using your mobile. It's very easy for someone to snatch it out of your hand, or steal your personal belongings
  • Be aware of your surroundings in the parking lot
  • Don't leave your house keys or portable garage openers in your car in sight.

While on Holiday

  • Make your home look occupied, whether it is by automatic radios on timer or automatic lighting
  • Aware trusted neighbors about holiday in case of emergency
  • Make sure that you lock all outside doors and windows and set your burglar alarm if you have one.
  • Keep vacation announcements off social media to avoid people publicly knowing you are away for a long period of time

At a Concert

  • Familiarize yourself with the layout of the venue
  • Take note of where event staff or security/police officers and first aid are located
  • If you see something, say something as it is better to prevent something before it is too late

We use our mobile phone for lots of things nowadays, including banking and diary management. If your phone isn't protected by security, losing your phone could mean thieves get access to your personal information.

Follow these simple steps to protect your mobile phone:

1. Use the security features provided

Most mobile phones have security features that are designed to stop people accessing a phone and using it, should it be stolen. In order for these security features to work you need to switch them on/put them in place:

The security features include:

  • creating a PIN code that locks your handset
  • tracing the location of, wiping data from, or locking your handset remotely using another internet enabled device

The table below outlines some of the security features on offer from major mobile phone manufacturers:

Vendor/OS PIN Locate handset Wipe data Block handset 
Prevent unauthorised
reset of security features
Apple × × × × ×
Blackberry × × × × ×
LG × × × × ×
Samsung × × × × ×
Sony × × × ×  
× × ×    

For further details about what is available, please follow the relevant links to the manufacturer's/software provider's website below:






Windows Phone

2. Know how to identify your mobile phone if it is stolen

Each handset manufactured for use in the UK has a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI) hardwired into it during the manufacturing process. Knowing the IMEI will help the police identify your handset should it be stolen. UK network operators will also prevent a stolen handset from working across their respective networks if you can tell them the IMEI.

You can find your handset’s IMEI by:

  • typing *#06# into the keypad of your handset
  • OR looking inside the battery or SIM card compartment of your handset
  • OR looking on the side of the box, or on the associated paperwork, that you received when purchasing the handset

3. Be aware of your surroundings

Take a look at how easy it can be for a thief to take your mobile from an open bag:

Consider the following when protecting your handset from opportunist thieves:

  • Ensure you know where your phone is when you are in a busy location. Train stations, shopping centers - these places are popular with pickpockets especially if your handset is visible in an open bag or hanging out of your back pocket.
  • Think about when you use your phone – outside train and underground stations are popular places for snatch theft
  • Never leave your mobile unattended in a public place

Check out this great infographic that gives you the lowdown on what you should be doing to ensure that you shop safely online.


‘Theft from person’ covers theft (including attempts) of item or items (e.g. cash, phone) directly from the victim, but without the use or threat of physical force. There are two types of theft from the person:

  • Snatch theft - taking a bag cleanly from a shoulder is an example of this. Force may be used, but not against a person. 
  • Stealth theft (e.g. pickpocketing) - where no force is used and the victim is unaware of the incident.

Stealth theft makes up around 70-80% of theft from the person incidents.

Tips to reduce the risk of theft

There are precautions you can take to both prevent theft from happening and to help you recover your stolen items. Thieves look for people and homes they can target. Take the time to make yourself aware of the tips to reduce the risk of theft from the person.

Be aware

  • Keep bags fastened and out of view.
  • Only take out what is necessary when going out at night.
  • Avoid listening to music on headphones whilst walking home at night alone. Keep to well-lit, busy areas.
  • Make sure no one is loitering too close when using a cash machine.
  • Don't be distracted while you remove your card and cash from the machine. 
  • After withdrawing cash, don't count your money in the middle of the street.

Look after your belongings

  • Mark belongings using a UV pen or other marking system.
  • Never leave your bag, mobile, tablet or laptop unattended in public view, even if you are going to the toilet.
  • Do not keep all your valuables in one place. Instead place items such as wallets and mobile phones in inside pockets.

Protect your mobile

  • Avoid talking on your mobile whilst walking home at night alone and keep to well-lit, busy areas.
  • Be careful when using it outside train and bus stations which are popular venues for snatch theft, often by motorcycle.
  • Keep it hidden from view, not in your back pocket.
  • Make a note of your personal IMEI number (type *#06# on your phone's keypad to get it). If you have the IMEI number you can block your phone being used if it is stolen.
  • Download a phone tracking application.

Content source: Theft from the person - Information pack for partners (July 2013), published by the Home Office.