Operation Robbery is one of the five strands of Safer Streets, a Thames Valley Police public campaign to make it safer to live and socialise in Thames Valley.
This operation, which began in 2002, is all about catching robbery offenders and reducing the number of victims of robbery.
What is robbery?
- Robbery occurs when force or the threat of force is used to obtain property. It is different to theft. Theft is when somebody takes someone else’s property knowing that the property will not be returned.
- Mobile phones and cash are the items that are most often stolen in a robbery.
- Robbery often takes place in town or city centres or other busy public locations.
- Robbers mainly target two age groups – 10 to 16 year olds and 17 to 25 year olds.
- Most robberies are not planned. They are carried out by offenders who see a chance to steal something and take it. Robbers look for a quick and easy way to get cash or property.
How does the operation work?
Thames Valley Police uses every crime technique that we can to tackle robbery. This includes:
- Checking DNA and fingerprints of suspects.
- Monitoring and examining CCTV footage.
- Vehicle checks.
- Special patrols in robbery ‘hotspots’.
- Property marking.
- School truancy sweeps, in partnership with local education authorities.
- Working with partners in the Criminal Justice system, local authorities and schools to tackle the problem.
- Targeting known offenders.
I’m a victim of robbery – what should I do?
- If you are in immediate danger, feel threatened, or if the crime is in progress, call 999.
- You could call 101, the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number. Please report the crime as soon as possible after it has happened. This increases the chances of police identifying and arresting the offender because we can often find forensic evidence at the crime scene.
- If you don’t wish to speak to police or give your name, call Crimestoppers (opens new window) on 0800 555 111.
Advice on how to avoid becoming a robbery victim
- Keep your mobile phone out of sight as much as possible.
- Keep your wallet out of sight and don’t flash your cash.
- Make sure your bag/rucksack is closed, zipped and buckled. If someone grabs it, let it go. Bags and their contents can be easily replaced.
- Use public transport rather than walk home alone.
- Stick with your mates – you are less likely to be a target if you’re with other people.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol – you will be an easy target for a robber.
- Take extra care when taking money out of a cashpoint. Put your money away safely before leaving the cashpoint.
- Use a cashpoint in daylight or with a mate if you can. Choose a well-lit cashpoint.
- If you suspect that you’re being followed, cross the road to see if they follow you. If you’re still worried, don’t hang around. Go quickly into a pub or shop to call a family member or friend to meet you. If you feel threatened, or are in immediate danger, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.
- Have your house keys ready before you reach the door. Searching for them means that you’re not looking at what’s around you.
- If you’re chatting on the phone or listening to your personal stereo, you won’t hear someone come up behind you.
- When you feel that there may be trouble ahead, there probably is. Go somewhere safer.
- Don’t get involved in an argument. What’s the point? Life’s too short.