Increase in pickpocketing in Hertfordshire blamed on contactless cards

PUBLISHED: 13:07 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:27 01 November 2017

Increase in pickpocketing in Hertfordshire blamed on contactless cards.

Increase in pickpocketing in Hertfordshire blamed on contactless cards.

Archant

Hertfordshire shoppers are experiencing one of the highest levels of purse dipping and pickpocketing the county has ever seen, according to police.

Herts Police Neighbourhood Watch is urging shoppers to be vigilant.

Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer Derrick Sweeney issued the following message to Watch members: “Purse dipping and pickpocketing offences are possibly the highest ever in Hertfordshire.

“This increase is possibly [down to] the attractiveness of stolen contactless cards, which can now be used for up to £30 five times a day.

“The other disturbing statistic is most of the victims are vulnerable, elderly females.

“That’s a lot of our mums, grans, aunts and next door neighbours.

“We have to be vigilant and spread the word about this problem.”

The police gave the following advice to avoid being targeted:

• Use a handbag that can be closed properly, make sure it is zipped up, so that it is more difficult for someone to open it and reach in to get your purse.

• Never leave it unattended or leave it in a shopping trolley.

• Be aware of people around you.

• Always look after your bank card, never let it out of your sight.

• Always shield your PIN number when paying for items in shops or at cash machines.

• Never tell anyone your PIN number, it is only for you to use at bank or payment machines.

• Ensure your PIN number is not kept near your card.

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