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Planning Retirement Online

Safety First                       Archive





    Safety first - how not to be a victim of crime


   Safety at Cash Points


  • Be aware that someone may be watching you, with a view to stealing your card or pin number or snatching your cash. If possible shield your hand with your coat when tapping in your number.

Shopping tips

  • Always make sure your bag is zipped or otherwise secure.

  • Consider carrying a shoulder bag under your coat or wear a small purse with a long-handle that will go round your neck.

  • Don’t leave bags or shopping unattended.

  • Don’t leave a handbag/purse in a shopping basket or trolley that you pull behind you, out of sight

Credit cards

  • Try not to let your card out of sight at point of purchase.

  • Some insurance companies may decline claims where a person is deemed to have been negligent, e.g. by leaving a purse, handbag or phone unattended in a shopping trolley/basket. If your bag contains your credit card and you are considered to have been negligent, this could invalidate your insurance, making you responsible for paying the bill for any credit card purchases made by the thief. 

Mobile phones

  • Note your IME number by entering * # 0 6 # This allows you to disable your phone if it is stolen.  Though phone companies have now agreed to disable stolen phones, people with the relevant computer skills will still be able to use.

  • Try not to use your phone walking down the street or near stations or schools. If possible stand with your back to a wall.

  • On a train, be aware that the most likely time it will be snatched is when the train is in a station, where the thief can easily escape as the doors are closing.  This is true of bag snatches too.


  • Older people often like to have quite large sums of cash at home. This is not a good idea.

  • When ordering  a large sum of cash, try not to speak too loudly to the cashier. People in the queue behind you may well overhear what you are saying. Ask for the cash to be put in an envelope and put it away securely in your bag before leaving the bank.


  • Never open your door without putting on the security chain first.

  • Always ask for identification: never let anyone in who you don’t know.  Check identity when a parcel is being delivered.

  • Don’t let people, even young children, into your home to use the phone or toilet or to have a drink of water. This may seem uncharitable, especially if the caller appears quite distressed, but the request might not be genuine.

Giving a description to the police

All or some of the following are useful: height, age, hair colour or length; accent, ethnicity [white, black, Mediterranean, Asian, African]; distinguishing marks; clothes; shoe type; the direction the person took, or if in a car, the direction taken, colour of car, car number plate. 

To view previous articles  - see the laterlife-interest index page



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

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