With lockdown restrictions lifting, Brits are being warned to stay vigilant when returning to work after new research has revealed one in six workers have experienced something personal to them has been stolen or lost during their commute into work.
Over half of households in the UK (54%) are now travelling to work, a 13% rise since January* which is expected to continue growing into the summer months, making train platforms, bus stations and city centres the busiest they have been since lockdown began.
The research uncovered by safe.co.uk, found one in four Brits are worried about their personal safety when they return to work on a more regular basis, prompting the security retailers to highlight the most commonly lost or stolen items and the most popular places they were last seen whilst travelling to work.
The data found mobile phones are the most common item to go missing whilst commuting, after nearly a third admitted to losing theirs. A quarter (25%) reported their wallet or purse had been stolen during a journey to work, followed closely by headphones (18%), bag (11%) and even laptops (7%).
|Wallet / Purse||25%|
|Files / Books||7%|
After finding out which items attract thieves’ attention the most, the research delved deeper to find which form of transport reports the most thefts. The train is by far the worst place for losing property, after more than two-thirds (67%) said this is the location their items were last seen. The second most likely place to have property lost or stolen is on the bus (20%), followed by cycling at 10%.
To give commuters peace of mind when travelling to work, Safe recommends the following tips to avoid having property lost or stolen:
- Check your distances – A big advantage to the current social distancing laws is that you shouldn’t be close enough to a person for them to take items from your pockets. If all belongings are kept on a person at all times, rather than going to a toilet on the train for example and leaving them unattended, the chances of something being taken will be very slim.
- Separate your items – Keep all electronics and expensive items in different compartments and pockets to avoid them being taken in one swoop. If all essentials such as a phone, wallet and keys are in one bag, they could be lost in one go. Whereas if they are separate, you are less likely to have the disappointment of them all being missing, making the replacement process a lot easier.
- Safes and Lockers – Aside from commuting, 17% of workers admitted to losing items during working hours. If leaving a workplace, utilise any safes and lockers to ensure belongings are secured. Portable items such as tablets and laptops can be stored in tailored safes with high insurance ratings. For smaller items such as headphones and money, they should be on the person.
- Zips – A simple yet effective solution, where clothes with zip pockets and ensure all bags are fully zipped up to prevent thieves from picking you as a victim. The harder it is to access items, the less likely they are to try and commit the crime.
- Apps – Ensure that you are signed up to online banking and that the bank’s app is downloaded on a device. Most banks now have a simple account freeze or cancel feature that allows the user to instantly pause the use of any cards. If credit or debit cards are missing, it gives the owner an opportunity to stop any transactions before completely cancelling the card in case it is quickly found. Also be sure to have the likes of ‘Find My iPhone’ installed to help locate missing devices.
Anthony Neary, managing director for Safe.co.uk said “There are many anxieties about returning to work after a year of WFH, so the last thing people need is to be a victim of theft or losing personal belongings along the way.
“Be as vigilant as possible when returning to your place of work to ensure nothing is lost or stolen and consider our tips for peace of mind throughout the commute. In the unfortunate situation of realising something is missing, call the transport authorities or contact the police.”