AN ELLESMERE Port cop is urging people to stay on guard against thieves and pick pockets.

PC Liam Smithies said: 'There were 15 incidents of personal theft reported in February alone

'One theft is one too many and I'm hoping people will take a little time out to think about personal safety and security so this does not become a major problem.

'There doesn't seem to be any pattern for these offences. They are taking place at various times in various places.

'The types of things being stolen are purses, handbags and mobiles from places such as pubs, clubs, supermarkets and on the street.

'We've also received reports of items being stolen from jackets and bags as people are going about their business.'

He advised: 'Be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables hidden - talking on a mobile, wearing headphones, carrying a laptop all show potential thieves you have something worth taking.

'Register your phone for free at This will help the police return your phone if it gets stolen.

You can also register your phone's details with your network. Also en-sure you have noted down the IMEI number at home. This can be accessed by keying in *#06# and can be used to bar the phone very quickly if it is stolen.'

PC Smithies added: 'Ensure your handbag/shopping bag is closed and don't let it out of your sight. Carry it close to you with the clasp facing inwards or strap it over your shoulder. If someone grabs your bag, let it go. Your safety is more important than your property.

'Don't carry large amounts of cash around.

'Be careful at cash points. There are many scams and techniques, so always be aware of who's around.

'Don't hang about once you've got your money out. Never write down your PIN.

'Carry your laptop in an anonymous bag like a rucksack and think before using it in public places where it could be snatched.'

PC Smithies is an Ellesmere Port Community Action Team officer. To leave a message for an officer contact the dedicated message facility on 0845 458 6373.