Gardaí urge public about mobile phone theft this St Patrick’s Day

An Garda Síochána are urging members of the public to exercise caution when socialising over the St. Patrick’s Day bank holiday weekend.

The force said care should be taken with personal items particularly mobile phones.

As St. Patrick’s Day celebrations resume after two years of cancelled events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gardaí are aware of the high volume of people expected to join the festivities.

Gardaí will continue to conduct high visibility and plain clothes patrols throughout Dublin city centre over the bank holiday weekend, keeping people safe. 

Younger people in particular are urged to exercise caution while celebrating this weekend and to take measures to ensure personal safety.

Personal Safety Advice:

• Drink alcohol responsibly
• Never drink and drive, no matter the time of the day/ night
• Plan your night out, tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back
• Don’t let your friends or family walk home alone; there is safety in numbers
• If you have to, walk in well lit areas and make sure you can be seen by passing traffic (reflective gear/torch)
• Take care when carrying personal property (handbag, smartphone or tablet) in crowded areas, keep them in a safe location within view
• Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas; keep handbags zipped and don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. In bars and restaurants take care about where you store coats and handbags.
• Park and lock your car in secure, well lit areas. Keep valuables including bags and coats hidden.

Mobile Phone Safety

The following practical measures can help in preventing and reducing mobile phone theft:
• Register your mobile phone with your service provider.
• Take careful note of your unique 15 digit mobile phone International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. By pressing *#06# on your phone keypad the IMEI will appear on the screen.
• Enable the PIN Security feature and keep your phone locked at all times.
• When out and about, keep your mobile phone out of public view, be streetwise and always be aware of your surroundings.
• If you are making or receiving a phone call in public, do so with your back to a wall and reduce the opportunity to be attacked from behind.
• Never leave your mobile phone behind in an unattended vehicle.
• If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, contact your mobile phone service provider immediately to suspend your service and prevent unauthorised calls being made and billed to you. Your provider will block your SIM card and IMEI number to prevent your phone from being used on the mobile network.
• Report the loss or theft to An Garda Síochána, providing identification numbers for your SIM card and IMEI number. This information may assist in the recovery of your mobile phone.

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