How To Survive Theft in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is one of the safest cities in the world. True or false? Up until a few days ago, I wouldn’t even have thought twice before answering “true”. In fact, oftentimes we take safety in Copenhagen for granted. We naively think that nothing will happen to us if we are walking around alone in the streets of Copenhagen, perhaps on the way home from a crazy night out in a not so sober state. I was one of those naive citizens until last Friday, when my iPhone was stolen from my jacket pocket. That night, a guy came up to me and asked me if I liked to play football. Then, he playfully tackled me and escaped with my phone. But now I am done crying and more than ready to share some helpful tips on how to avoid getting your phone (or your collection of rare diamonds that you often bring to town) stolen.
1) Avoid walking around alone at night
This is especially important if you are walking in an area with few people, or areas that are notorious for being more dangerous than others, for example Nørrebro or Vesterbro. However sometimes you can’t help but walk around alone like when you are on your way home from a party. If this is the case, try to walk close behind a group of random people, but not too close, or they might think you are creepy. Thieves will be less likely to target a big group of people as they will be outnumbered.
2) Don’t wear heels, girls (and guys?)
Bring a change of shoes for when you are going home from town, because if you are wearing heels the thief will see you as an easy target for theft as you will not be able to run after him.
3) Don’t keep your phone or purse in a pocket that is big and easy to reach
The less effort the thief has to go through to take your valuables, the more likely he will rob you. So, put your most important assets safely away in an inner pocket in your bag. If that is too difficult, you could also consider not bringing very much money to town. In fact, don’t bring any at all and try to get free drinks from your friends or random strangers instead. Win-win situation!
You’ve been robbed, now what?
If you were as cautious as possible, and still got something stolen, not all hope is lost! There are some things you can do to feel a bit better about your unfortunate life.
1) Don’t panic
The most important thing if you’ve been robbed is to keep calm. Being frustrated gives way to irrational behaviour and you might want to run after the thief. But that could lead to more danger. Remember, the most important thing is that only you haven’t been hurt, only your bank account has, and material possessions can always be replaced.
2) “Find my iPhone”
This is an extremely good app to have, because it allows you to track your phone (using someone else’s phone) if you have gotten your phone stolen. It also is helpful for curing those memory lapses when you can’t remember where you left your phone. However, in the event that you are as unlucky as me and your phone ends up in Christiania, it’s probably not the best idea to go there in search of it. The thief might have gone there because he knows the police can’t get him. Nevertheless, you can still use the app to delete all data on your phone so the thief won’t be able to read any bank passwords, access your Facebook or look at the embarrassing pictures you took posing with your five cats.
3) Call the police
If someone physically robs you, it’s a good idea to report the case to the police. They might be able to help if you contact them ASAP, and the more people that report thefts, the more awareness will be raised about “underground” crime in Denmark. The media might start reporting about it, scaring the gangs of thieves away.
4) Contact your insurance company
This is one of the times which you will thank your mum that she stressed the importance of having insurance. Many insurance companies, for example DJØF or Tryg will give some compensation for things being stolen. This will cushion the blow of losing something very expensive.
Best of luck with hanging on to all your valuable possessions! But don’t despair too much. You can always remind yourself that you aren’t living in a war zone in Iraq or a ghetto in Harlem, and immediately you will feel better!