Gardaí in Dublin are “very concerned” about the rate of thefts from the person in the city, with more than 1,800 instances reported so far in 2016.
There has been a 6 per cent increase in thefts from the person in the Dublin City Council area in 2016, with the number up to 1,895 from 1,782 during the same period in 2015.
"It is an area for which we are very concerned," Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan told members of the city's joint policing committee.
“Within the centre of the city there are street crime units regularly targetting that and it’s something that is regularly raised at management meetings.”
However, he said the figures “must be viewed in the context of the overall pretty large-scale drops in crime” across the city.
He said many of the items that are stolen are mobile phones.
“Not all of them are the result of robberies or anything like that. Many of them are the result of perhaps carelessness in leisure centres or areas of recreation,” he said.
“And that’s something that we try to improve by way of . . . crime prevention advice and information on the Garda website.”
At a meeting of a separate joint policing sub-committee for the Dublin central area last month, Chief Supt Pat Leahy said his district had experienced an increase in pickpocketing, or “dipping”.
However, he said that he expects the number of cases to level off now that most of the major events planned for the year have taken place.
Last year, mobile phones were the most commonly stolen item, with nearly 60 per cent of thefts and robberies involving mobile phones.
The next most commonly stolen items were cash, handbags, purses and wallets.
Two out of every five robberies and thefts occurred between the hours of 10pm and 4am, with more than half taking place between Friday and Sunday.
Groups such as the Irish Telecommunications Security and Fraud Forum advise people to be wary of their belongings and to take note of their phone’s unique IMEI number.
The IMEI number can be found inside the battery compartment of many phones, and is located on the pull-out tray or back of iPhones.