Warning over mobile phone thefts becoming a distraction in Nottingham cafes

A new police operation to tackle nuisance burglaries in Nottingham city center is showing early signs of success.
Neighborhood officers launched Operation Cloud two weeks ago after an increase in cell phone thefts from places like fast food outlets and coffee shops.

A number of initiatives have been launched as a result of active activities, and reports have already decreased.

Sergeant Paul Whitehead, from the city center policing team, said:

“The operation took place after three weeks of thefts that caused distractions.
“Usually the victim would be sitting in a cafe or coffee shop and someone would approach them asking for directions.

“The same person would then place a piece of paper on top of their mobile phone which was on the table and the victim would give instructions and the distracted thief would take his phone.

“To combat this, we are distributing crime prevention postcards and posters advising the public on how to protect their property.

“We have also stepped up plainclothes patrols and high visibility patrols to catch and deter offenders.

“In addition, we employ certain stealth tactics and work with various partners and licensed facilities to ensure they are doing everything possible to protect their customers.”

“We are also working with local universities to ensure our messages reach the student population and will be holding a crime prevention assembly at a local school to further our message.”

“This is all in addition to some of the posts we’ve been putting out on social media to raise awareness of the issue.

Since the start of the operation, reports of mobile phone thefts in the city center have decreased.

Sgt Whitehead said:

“We’ve had 13 reports in three weeks and only one report in 10 days – so the operation is already having an impact.”

Postcards and posters distributed in the city center encourage people to “protect your belongings, don’t give anyone a chance”.

There is a list of dos and don’ts on the back of the postcards.


Leave your belongings unattended
Write down the PIN codes
Make it easy for thieves
Dos include:
Carry only the cash you need
Use a PIN or pattern code on your phone for security
Carry valuables in the inner pockets of clothes or bags
Track your phone with Find my iPhone or PREY software

Postcards to raise awareness of mobile phone theft were distributed by PCSO Solomon Clark and PC Ben King.

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