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New North-East crackdown on professional railway thieves

Police and rail staff are launching a new crackdown this week on professional rail thieves.

Operation Pulse will run from Monday to Friday and involves officers from Newcastle, York and Edinburgh undertaking high visibility and plain clothed patrols on trains and at stations on the East Coast mainline from Scotland through into England.

The British Transport Police are launching a new crackdown on railway thieves in the area.

The British Transport Police are launching a new crackdown on railway thieves in the area.

Among the items targeted by travelling thieves are smart phones and luggage.

Officers will also be holding anti-theft surgeries at stations on the route and handing out crime prevention leaflets showing passengers 13 of the most common tricks thieves use and providing advice on how to protect themselves from thieves

Acting Sergeant Mark Mellenthin said: “Thefts on the rail network are very rarely opportunistic. They are committed by determined thieves whose sole intention is to steal from other passengers.

“We use a range of tactics to create a really difficult environment for criminals to operate within, including intelligence-led patrols by uniformed officers and plain-clothes officers.

"The excellent CCTV network on trains and at stations also helps us identify thieves who will be caught and dealt with, no matter where they are operating across Britain.

“However, this week is also about education; we want the public to watch our video, read our leaflet and know how to best look after their property on trains.

“Top tips include keeping your luggage close by and checking on it regularly, keeping your valuables hidden if you’re going to sleep and always zipping up any hand or shoulder bags.

“Unsurprisingly, mobile phones are a popular target for thieves, so try to keep yours hidden. Installing a tracker application on your smartphone could help trace your device if it’s stolen.”

Tips for keeping your property safe on trains:

• Keep purses secure and carry wallets in an inside pocket

• Zip up hand and shoulder bags

• Carry bags in front of you, with flaps against your body

• Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm

• Don't display jewellery, mobile phones and MP3 players

• Don't show your money - keep it safely in your pocket

• Stay alert and aware of what's going on around you when using your phone in public

• Keep your luggage close by and check it regularly

For more advice visit www.btp.police.uk/theft