Police warn Plymouth music fans to beware of pickpocket gangs
POLICE are warning gig goers to leave their phones at home following a spate of pickpocket crimes.
To date, police have heard from nine revellers who attended The Vaccines gig at the Plymouth Pavilions on November 15 . In each case they believe they were targeted by pickpockets who snatched their expensive phones while they were in the crush of the all-standing show.
Over the past few years the same warning – around the same time of year – has been issued as criminal gangs target loud and frenetic shows by top music names at venues across the UK.
In the past, gigs such as Biffy Clyro, The Prodigy and Avenged Sevenfold at the Plymouth Pavilions have been marred by pickpocket gangs who targeted revellers.
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PC Chris May, neighbourhood beat manager for Stonehouse, said police were warning gig-goers.
He said: "Police forces across the country have been warned of organised groups of criminals, often of Eastern European origin, who target certain kinds of concerts.
"They look for loud gigs where the audience are physically active, jammed together in tight spaces at the front of the venue. These are the places and kinds of gigs which are much easier for them to operate as pickpockets, stealing from trousers, jackets and handbags.
"People become relaxed and not so aware of their own security at these kinds of concerts.
"We want to warn revellers to be aware of their surroundings; where their valuables are; who's going near them.
"If you see anyone acting suspiciously in the venue, immediately contact the staff on duty or the police."