According to a recent government report ‘stealth theft’ (when someone takes your bag or belongings when you aren’t paying attention) typically accounts for between 50% and 60% of all thefts from a person*. So, if you are sporting the latest Mulberry number, a classic Prada bag, or a more modestly priced tote from Michael Kors, what can you do to protect your bag better?
Research from an insurance provider** suggests nearly 1 in 10 women carry a handbag worth £250 or more, but a designer Gucci handbag can cost anything up to £2,500 – possibly even more.
Of course, in addition to the value of the actual bag, just think about the costs that live at the bottom of your bag. If you added up all the content you carry around with you, the total amount can run into hundreds of pounds. Smartphones, make-up, credit cards and cash all increase the value.
Even more worryingly, most handbags also contain at least one item that can be used to steal their owner’s identity.
So, what can you do to keep your valuables (and your identity) safe? Here are a few pointers:
- Keep your bag close. Ideally pick one with a strap that can be worn diagonally across your body.
- Only carry what you need, regularly de-clutter and minimise what you carry.
- Avoid carrying documents containing personal information unless you really need to.
- Don’t leave your bag on the passenger seat of your car with your doors unlocked – it could easily be snatched when your vehicle is stationary.
- Use handbag clips where available in bars and clubs.
- Invest in a GPS tracker that syncs with an App on your Smartphone. V by Vodafone offers a great option called V-Bag, and this smart device is a snip at £59, with a monthly subscription of £4 per month.
- Consider taking out personal possessions insurance that covers your bag away from home.
*Stealth theft from the person comprises the majority of all CSEW theft from the person incidents, typically accounting for between 50% and 60% of all incidents.
**Insurer Direct Line