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A student attending a WJ Parkour workshop was mugged on their way home on Sunday.

Obviously Parkour workshops attract many people who are prime targets for this kind of crime. While we realise that's it's impossible to stamp out these horrible events occuring, the following steps maybe useful in diminishing your chances of becoming a victim.

90% of offenders are male and 80% of victims are also male
The majority of robberies are committed by offenders working in groups
The peak age for offenders is 16
The peak time for theft of mobiles belonging to people under the age of 18 is between 2pm and 10pm
For over 18s the peak time for theft is between 10pm and 6am
A mobile phone is stolen around every three minutes in the UK

Source: BBC Crime




Article courtesy of the BBC.

Anyone can become a victim of street crime but there are ways to reduce your chances of becoming the next target.

Although anyone can become a target for muggers, some are more likely to become victims than others.

Street robbers have identified students as particularly easy targets as they often have expensive equipment such as laptops, mini-disk players, i-pods and mobile phones.

Students are often not from the local area so are unfamiliar with their surroundings and muggers view them as being particularly easy to intimidate.

Street robbers admit to weighing up the possible gains to be made from any target against the risk of being caught or sustaining injury.
Whoever you are, the chances of becoming the next victim of mugging can be reduced by following some simple guidelines.

Best foot forward
Appearing confident is one of the best ways of staying safe when out and about on foot.

It's a fact that confident people are less likely to be mugged or assaulted, so when you're walking alone try to look alert and walk tall.

Of course, the secret to being confident is feeling safe in the first place. So be aware of your surroundings, plan where you're going and how you're going to get there.

It's also worth letting other people know where you're going and when you expect to get back - if you change your plans remember to let them know.

If you're planning any journey on foot, even just a short walk, plan your route in advance so that that you don't appear lost.

Carry a mobile phone with you, and have useful numbers programmed into your phone for speedy access.

Carry a personal attack alarm. Again, having one with you will make you feel that bit more confident.

Stick to busy, well-lit places. Avoid underpasses or shortcuts unless the lighting is good and you're confident they're safe.

If you can, avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar territory.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to move in. Carry your bag slung across your body with any zips or openings on the inside.

If you think you're being followed on foot, cross a road and keep walking.

If you still think you're being followed make for somewhere busy and well lit. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Cash points
We all appreciate the convenient cash machine as a source of money, but unfortunately some thieves think the same way.

To avoid losing your money at a cash point, the following precautions are recommended.

It may seem like common sense, but never write down your personal identification number (PIN), and if you are distracted at the cash point, cancel the transaction and leave - someone may have seen your PIN or be trying to create an opportunity to try to steal your money.

Do not let anyone see you input your PIN, and if you are interrupted or distracted by anyone when using a cash machine, cancel the transaction and try to recover the card.

Also if your card is not returned by the cash machine, report it to your card issuer immediately.

Mobile phones
Mobile phones can be incredibly useful when out alone, to let others know your whereabouts and for your own peace of mind.

Unfortunately they are also an easy target for street robbers - 38% of all robberies involve the theft of a mobile.

Inspector Daryl Chadwick has some advice to help keep your mobile safe.

"If you need to use a mobile phone in public, don't switch off. Be aware of what you are doing and if possible, keep your mobile concealed at all times."

Sources of help and support

Victim Support - 0845 30 30 900 -
Victim Support helps people cope with the effects of crime. There are separate advice sections for people living in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Crimestoppers - 0800 555 111 -
Crimestoppers is an independent UK-wide charity working to stop crime. You can call them anonymously.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust -
After her daughter Suzy disappeared in 1986, Diana Lamplugh founded this personal safety trust. It offers advice to children and adults to help them stay safe and recognise potentially dangerous situations.

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