Police warn teenagers to secure their Christmas gadgets

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

POLICE are warning young people who received expensive gadgets for Christmas to make sure they keep them safe this New Year.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has issued a list of top security tips following the festive season, aimed at reducing thefts.

The force is particularly keen to see younger people take out their own security measures to ensure they keep technology equipment safe.

A police spokesman said: “If like many other people you had some new gadgets, gizmos or even new wheels for Christmas then make sure you keep them and yourself safe this New Year.

“If you were lucky enough to get a new smart phone, MP3 player, games console, tablet or some other portable device for Christmas there are a couple of simple top-tips we recommend for keeping it safe.”

Tips include making use of tracking software which you can download on computers, tablet devices and some smart phones for free. These can be activated remotely to find the location of your device if it ever goes missing.

Police also advise gadget owners to take photos of their device, make a note of any registration numbers or the IMEI number on your phone and register them on www.immobilise.com.

Passwords should be used to protect devices wherever possible and people are urged not to flash them about in public.

Police have also issued several pieces of advice to people who received valuable bikes for Christmas.

Schoolchildren who will riding their new wheels to school are being reminded to fit their bicycles with lights if they will be riding before it gets light or after it gets dark, as well as wear suitable reflective clothing.

Take the time to get your bike security marked by police or your local cycle shop and registered on a website such as BikeRegister.com – it makes it easier for police to trace the owners if it is stolen and can also act as a deterrent. Owners are also being encouraged to invest in a heavy duty lock and to secure the bike even when at home and preferably store it in a locked garage or shed out of view.

Further crime prevention advice is available on www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

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