Search press releases

Advanced search options
Dial 999 in an emergency
Dial 101 in a non-emergency

Top of a pickpocket’s wish list: YOUR phone

You might think you’re just going to work or out for a drink but a thief is clocking up your laptop, phone and your wallet. Add in a bike on top and it’s a decent pay day for a dishonest day’s work.
Yesterday, Wednesday 3 May, our officers were out across the Square Mile and spoke to more than 450 people on the street, in shops and cafes about how we can all help to prevent crime in the City.
Between December 2016 and February 2017 we received over 100 reports of phone thefts. With each phone worth approximately £500, that’s more that £50,000 worth of stolen phones. As phones were the number one item on a thief’s wish list,yesterday our officers were on the look-out for people walking and using their phones to pass on advice about how they can avoid becoming the victim of a phone snatch. 

Last year, from January 2016 until December 2016, we received a total of 352 reports of bike theft. This video shows how a flimsy lock can be broken in a few seconds. During yesterday's activity, our officers were also making sure bikes were left properly secured.
Also between December 2016 and February 2017 we received 55 reports of wallets being stolen and 79 reports of stolen bags.  As the most common place for these sorts of thefts to occur is bars, pubs and cafes; our officers visited numerous City cafes and spoke to customers and staff about looking after their valuables and reminding customers not to leave wallets out on tables.
Over the same time period, we calculated that the average laptop cost £980 and with 29 reports, there has been nearly £30,000 worth of computers stolen. Yesterday a number of officers were on dedicated patrol around office blocks, speaking to staff to make sure they know to check who is following them into work.
To coincide with this activity we have launched a brand new website full of practical crime prevention advice. Not only that, but we have also released CCTV footage of crimes in action to show people just how quickly a crime can take place. 
Detective Inspector Mark Chapman who led yesterday’s activity said:
“The crime that we see in the City is largely preventable. Opportunist thieves strike when they see an unsecured bike, unattended laptops in a bar or by tailgating their way into your office.
“If you visit our new website you will see CCTV of wallets being stolen, phones snatched from victim’s hands and bike locks being broken in seconds. These are all real situations that could result is a good time turning sour when you find that your cab fare home or your laptop is gone.
“The CCTV on our new website shows just how quickly thieves can strike. Hopefully, by following our advice and making small changes we can seriously limit the opportunity for thieves to strike.”

Share release