Your Security Is Our Business

Norfolk Constabulary: Keep one step ahead of thieves

30 August 2013

Police are calling on revellers heading to the Sundown Festival this weekend to stay one step ahead of thieves by keeping switched on to their surroundings.

Around 30,000 people are expected to visit the two-day festival at the Norfolk Showground, with 10,000 people camping on site over the weekend from Friday night.

Thieves are known to target music festivals for easy pickings of phones, wallets and cameras and police are calling people to beat the thief by keeping a close-eye on their belongings.

Revellers are also being urged to make sure their smart phone is fitted with a tracking device, which can often help police locate stolen property.

South Norfolk Policing Commander, Chief Inspector Stuart Armes, said: Sundown is a fantastic event for Norfolk and one which is growing in popularity each year.

Unfortunately it s not just music fans that these events attract. We know that criminal gangs target festivals, taking advantage of people whose guard is down.

We want people to have fun and enjoy the acts performing on stage this year, but we would ask that people take sensible precautions, keeping belongings close-by and staying aware of who is around.

Earlier this month police launched a video a YouTube aimed at festival goers, encouraging them to stay switched on to their surroundings in a bid to keep property safe.

The video, featuring a festival goer and sneaky thief, shows what can happen if revellers don t keep their phones, cameras, wonga and other expensive goodies safe and secure.

Last year, a number of mobiles were stolen at the event, with one thief caught after a victim traced her phone using an anti-theft app. The thief was traced to a nearby restaurant where stolen mobiles could be heard ringing in his pants.

He was found with 20 stolen phones hidden inside a pair of tights underneath his trousers and was later convicted of theft and jailed for 30 months.

Ch Insp Armes added: The incident at Sundown last year demonstrates why thieves target these events in that people are less likely to notice their bag or pockets being tampered with in a large crowd.

The thief found with 20 mobiles was tracked by one of the victims using an anti-theft app, which are readily available to download on smart phones and tablets, often for free.

Campers are also urged to consider security, with tents offering little protection, and leaving any valuables at home that you can t keep with you.

Ch Insp Armes added: We would encourage campers to make best use of the facilities available which include secure lockers within the campsite area.

Although there is a small cost for the lockers, it makes sense to keep valuables such as phones which are often worth several hundred pounds, safely secured.

A mobile police pod, stationed just inside the pedestrian access on the Dereham Gate, will be staffed from1.30pm on Saturday and Sunday with officers available to deal with lost/stolen property reports and other crime matters.

Crime prevention leaflets will also be handed out to campers arriving on site on Friday, while posters will be displayed around the site reminding revellers about phone security.

Other safety tips for festival goers include:

  • Stick with friends and don t walk alone in darkness
  • Moderate your alcohol consumption as if you overdo it you’ll be less aware and less likely to spot dangers
  • If you re travelling by car make sure no valuables are left inside and that it s properly locked

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Norfolk Constabulary: Keep one step ahead of thieves

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