YORK, England, December 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
More than 1.7 million people have had their personal possessions stolen in the run up to Christmas, and people are being urged to be on their guard on Saturday 10December - pinpointed as the peak day for festive theft.
According to life assistance company CPPGroup Plc (CPP), one in five (18%) victims had items stolen in a bar or pub, with 15% experiencing theft in a nightclub. Alcohol, unsurprisingly, often has an impact with 29% admitting they had consumed a few drinks before the theft took place - a figure which rises to 49% of 18-24 year olds.
And with the average value of the valuables stolen - mobiles, handbags, keys, cash, wallets and purses - worth £229, there is a significant financial implication for victims.
The findings are supported by an observation conducted by Psychologist David Moxon, which assessed people's behaviours when socialising. Taking place at a popular central London bar, it involved a regular 'sweep' technique to identify and record behaviour. From his observations, Moxon concluded that a potential theft opportunity occurred every three minutes.
The experiment found people are less likely to be vigilant of their personal possessions when they are enjoying themselves in a social environment. A third (30%) of customers observed displayed 'risky behaviour' regarding the security of their personal belongings, placing their valuables out of sight, but easily accessible to potential thieves.
According to Moxon's findings, men are most prone to leave their belongings out of sight. Half of all risky behaviour identified in men was due to the fact they didn't keep their property in eyeshot. Couples however came top of the vulnerable list as they are more likely to trust each other to look after belongings.
Psychologist David Moxon comments, "When you're in a social environment you are more likely to be less vigilant. If you're happy and enjoying yourself it's easy to think 'happy thoughts' about the venue and people around you which could lead to over-trustfulness and an increase in risky behaviour. Higher levels of oxytocin, which is the 'bonding' hormone may also be experienced and this could lead to increased - and sometimes inappropriate - levels of trust."
As a consequence of having their wallet, payment cards or cash stolen, 17% of people were stranded and had to borrow money to get home, with others facing more lasting difficulties - one in ten (10%) had goods or services ordered in their name, and some (2%) had fraudulent lines of credit taken out as a result.
CPP is warning people to be extra cautious with their personal belongings during the festive season
Jo Gibbons, Card protection specialist at CPP said, "During the festive season, we're often out shopping, celebrating and getting into the Christmas spirit. Whilst it's a fun time of year, full of Christmas parties and after work drinks, it's important to be vigilant and keep an eye on your personal belongings. The combination of alcohol and a crowded environment could make you more susceptible to theft."
"To combat this risk and give the public peace of mind, CPP works in partnership with crime reporting specialists Facewatch to make sure that any thefts that take place on a Facewatch registered premises can be reported to the police and any stolen cards can also be cancelled and replaced immediately by calling CPP".
Facewatch is an online crime reporting system for businesses to report crime by providing all the evidence required by the police. It allows photos and key information about subjects of interest to be shared between premises to prevent crimes taking place. Facewatch is the fastest way to report low level crime, giving police a headstart to catch potential offenders and provides great customer service through instant crime reference and access to CPP - preventing any further inconvenience.
CPP's top tips for avoiding festive thieves:
- Don't carry multiple debit/credit cards in a wallet - only carry the essential cards you need
- Don't leave belongings unattended
- Don't carry debit/credit cards loose in a bag or pocket
- If your cards are registered with a Card Protection company make sure you have their emergency loss reporting number
- Don't ever write down your PIN number - if it is used you could find yourself liable for any fraudulent transactions
- Don't let bar staff/waiting staff take your debit/credit card out of sight - they could be copied or cloned
- If anything happens, report it to the manager of the venue immediately
- If you are concerned your cards may have been lost or stolen, contact your bank immediately to get the card cancelled
Notes to Editors
Festive period identified as November and December
When a premises signs up to Facewatch, they are able to provide the victim of a theft with a contact telephone number for CPP. By following the instructions on the card, the victim can then be identified by CPP as a Facewatch customer. CPP then will create a loss report which allows them on the customers' behalf to cancel and reissue payment cards.
ICM interviewed a random sample of 2004 adults aged 18+ online between 2-3 November 2011. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at http://www.icmresearch.co.uk
The observation took place at Gordon's Wine Bar, London WC2 on Thursday 10th November 2011 between 5.15-7.45pm and a total of 179 observations took place.
The sweep technique involved walking through the venue (inside and out) every 10 minutes, recording on a piece of card target individuals
Corporate Background Information
The CPPGroup Plc
The CPPGroup Plc (CPP) is an international marketing services business offering bespoke customer management solutions to multi-sector business partners designed to enhance their customer revenue, engagement and loyalty, whilst at the same time reducing cost to deliver improved profitability.
This is underpinned by the delivery of a portfolio of complementary Life Assistance products, designed to help our mutual customers cope with the anxieties associated with the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.
Whether our customers have lost their wallets, been a victim of identity fraud or looking for lifestyle perks, CPP can help remove the hassle from their lives leaving them free to enjoy life. Globally, our Life Assistance products and services are designed to simplify the complexities of everyday living whether these affect personal finances, home, travel, personal data or future plans. When it really matters, Life Assistance enables people to live life and worry less.
Established in 1980, CPP has 11 million customers and more than 200 business partners across Europe, North America and Asia and employs 2,300 employees who handle millions of sales and service conversations each year.
In 2010, Group revenue was £325.8 million, an increase of more than 12 per cent over the previous year.
In March 2010, CPP debuted on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
What We Do:
CPP provides a range of assistance products and services that allow our business partners to forge closer relationships with their customers.
We have a solution for many eventualities, including:
- Insuring our customers' mobile phones against loss, theft and damage
- Providing assistance to cancel and reorder customer's payment cards should these be lost or stolen
- Providing assistance and protection if a customer's keys are lost or stolen
- Providing advice, and assistance to help customers in the event their identity is fraudulently used
- Assisting customers with their travel needs be it an emergency (for example lost passport), or basic translation service
- Monitoring the credit status of our customers
- Provision of packaged services to business partners' customers
CPP is an award winning organisation:
- Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service, 2009, 2010 and 2011
- Finalist in the Plc Awards, New Company of the Year, 2011
- Winner in the European Contact Centre Awards, Large Team of the Year category, 2010
- Finalist in the European Contact Centre Awards, Best Centre for Customer Service, Large Contact Centre of the Year categories, 2010
- Finalist in the National Sales Awards, Contact Centre Sales Team of the Year category, 2010
- Finalist in the National Insurance Fraud Awards, Counter Fraud Initiative of the Year category, 2009
- Finalist in the European Contact Centre Awards, Large Team and Advisor of the Year categories, 2009
- Named in the Sunday Times 2008 PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100
- Finalists in the National Business Awards, 3i Growth Strategy category, 2008
- Finalist in the National Business Awards, Business of the Year category, 2007, 2009 and Highly Commended in 2008
- Named in the Sunday Times 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 HSBC Top Track 250 companies
- Regional winner of the National Training Awards, 2007
- Winner of the BITC Health, Work and Well-Being Award, 2007
- Highly Commended in the UK National Customer Service Awards, 2006
- Winner of the Tamworth Community Involvement Award, 2006. Finalist in 2008
- Highly Commended in The Press Best Link Between Business and Education, 2005 and 2006. Winner in 2007
For more information on CPP click on http://www.cppgroupplc.com
1. According to research conducted for CPP by ICM, One in twenty (4%) people have had one of these items stolen during the festive season (Nov - December) (1,781,000)
2. Analysis of CPP's claims statistics from the last year shows that December 10th is the most vulnerable day for card users, with over 300 lost or stolen cards reported to the life assistance firm on this date.
SOURCE The CPPGroup Plc