If you snooze you lose...
Gadget fans are being warned to take more precautions when using their MP3 players and mobile phones in public by a new government advertising campaign.
The common sense message of the 'keep it safe' campaign warns people not to leave their mobile at the bar when they play pool and keep MP3 players concealed on the Tube.
This type of crime often happens in or around public transport so the posters will mainly appear on the London Underground and outside train and bus stations, where people are likely to use their mobiles and MP3 players. The campaign will also feature on petrol-pump nozzles and there will be television and radio adverts across England and Wales.
Police and security minister Vernon Coaker said, while the risk of becoming a victim of crime is at its lowest for 25 years, there are now more mobile phones than people in the UK so there are more opportunities for thieves.
The campaign will focus on 27 robbery "hotspots" identified by the British Crime Survey, including the London areas of Greenwich, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets. Out of the 27 hotspots, 15 are within the Greater London area, although Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester are also singled out as having high robbery rates.
The campaign has run through the autumn and winter of the last three years, and is launched to coincide with the start of the new university year.
Students laden with iPods, laptops and other fancy gadgets are vulnerable and thus one of the key audiences this campaign is targeted at, a Home Office spokesman said.