You’ve probably seen the billboards with young people standing with their phones in hand and the item’s value next to it. In case you wondered what the message of the posters are, it’s a campaign called ‘Mijn Straatwaarde’ (My street value) to address the epidemic of petty street crimes. The campaign is an initiative from the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice together with the Hospitality Industry (KHN) and aims at creating awareness to young people for mugging and pickpocketing. Most possess expensive smartphones but are not aware of the street value, neither of the ways to secure these valuables from the hands of thieves. A lot of times people just put them in their back pocket or leave them on the table when dining out, completely unaware that they are basically putting €500,-+ on the table for everyone to see. You wouldn’t do that with your cash would you? As thieves are always looking for easy ways to make money, it’s hardly a surprise that smartphones became quite popular among their desired loot. This campaign therefore tries to increase people’s awareness of the fact that many young people posses an expensive and desirable smartphone that demands some precautions to reduce the risk of being mugged or pickpocketed. Besides awareness, the government has also promised to improve streetlights and increase police patrols. The campaign also gives some useful facts & tips.
Facts and Figures
- Many people think that during winter crime is higher due to the longer period of darkness. However, there is almost no difference between crime in summer or winter.
- 50% of all muggings is committed during the weekend and most if it during nighttime. Therefore, be aware when you decide to have a good night out!
- The big cities are most vulnerable to robbery. 54% of victims are under 25 as well as most perpetrators (80%).
- Many muggings happen on the main roads to schools and bars & restaurants.
- In almost 50% of the muggings smartphones are part of the loot.
Tips to stay safe!
- Keep your smartphone somewhere where it’s not visible.
- If you call, do it in the coatroom!
- When going home after a great night, go by bike or taxi and preferably with a group.
- Don’t take shortcuts through bad lighted streets and areas.
- Wear your bag on your body which makes it harder to take it off from you!
- Make sure that the opening of your bag is always facing your body so it’s harder for other people to get into your bag.
More info? We in Maastricht have a special police agent for students, Paul Vermin, contact him if you any questions for the police.