Summer robbery warning for youngsters in Wellingborough and Northampton

Police are urging teenagers to take care this summer
Police are urging teenagers to take care this summer

Northamptonshire Police is urging youngsters to take their advice and reduce their risk of being robbed over the summer period.

Analysis of previous years’ recorded crimes show one in five victims of robbery in August are under the age of 18.

Cash is the most commonly stolen item, followed by mobile phones, wallets or purses, and bicycles, with teenagers more likely to be targeted between 3pm and 10pm.

Areas previously identified as seeing a spike in summer robbery offences include wards within Wellingborough and Northampton.

Over the summer special constables will be carrying out increased patrols in these areas, and offering crime prevention advice to young people they meet.

Sergeant Susan Torrance, specials and volunteers sergeant at Northamptonshire Police, said: “As a force we’re committed to protecting people from harm.

“With figures from previous years indicating a rise in young people being robbed during August we’re taking a proactive approach to prevent a repeat this summer.

“Most robberies are opportunistic, with criminals identifying attractive items or vulnerable targets and being tempted into committing crime.

“In summer these temptations can be more visible, so we’re asking under 18s to keep valuables out of sight, be mindful of their surroundings and to leave expensive items they don’t need with them at home.”

Parents and carers are being asked to talk to children and teenagers about how to stay safe over the summer, and advice is also being shared about what to do if confronted by a would-be robber.

Sgt Torrance said: “If you are threatened for your possessions, comply with demands and don’t risk your personal safety in any way.

“Try to take in as much detail as you can and report the incident to us as soon as possible.

“We take robbery offences very seriously and officers are working hard to both prevent offences and bring those responsible for these often frightening crimes to justice.”

Police have issued the following advice about preventing personal robbery:

- Plan ahead before you go out. Know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and how you’ll get back. Let someone know where you’re going, and be prepared for a change of plan

- Keep your purse or wallet and keys close and secure. Only take out essential items, and keep valuables out of sight

- If you can leave valuables at home, do

- When you’re out, always walk with confidence, and stick to well-lit, busy areas

- Stay alert to your surroundings – don’t walk along texting, making a phone call or listening to music. As well as being distracting, this advertises your valuable to criminals

- Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel safe then change your route, remembering to stay in well-lit and busy areas. Don’t be tempted to take short cuts

- Be a good friend and stay safe by sticking together. Always avoid walking alone at night

- If you have been a victim of robbery, or have been affected by any other crime or road traffic collision, you can access help and support via Voice - http://voicenorthants.org/ or 0300 303 1965.