Protect Yourself From Theft
13 November 2023
As many are aware, there has been a recent rise in theft incidents across central London. While in this area, crime levels remain low in comparison to other parts of the capital, it is important to bear in mind the risk of theft and steps that you can take to protect yourselves and your property, especially as we head towards the busy festive period.
Several table surfing incidents – where distraction techniques are used to steal the valuables of customers seated at venues – have recently been reported locally. There also continues to be an issue of the theft of phones by e-scooter, bikes and moped riders, usually targeting victims standing at road crossings or walking along the pavement. In addition to this, pickpocketing is also on the rise as areas become busier with shoppers.
By working together, we can help to prevent these crimes and protect you and your valuables. Our Street Team patrols the area seven days a week, keeping an eye out for suspicious behaviour and acting as an effective deterrent for crime. They have been spending time with local businesses, sharing advice from the Police to help raise awareness amongst staff and customers. If you or a colleague sees anyone acting unusually, experiences or witnesses incidents of theft, please do report it to the Police as well as our Street Team, who can then target their monitoring where it is needed and enable us build a picture of hotspot locations so that security can be increased in those areas. Contact the Street Team here if you have concerns or you would like them to visit your business.
In addition to this, here are just a few of the ways that you can help to protect yourselves:
- Be aware of your belongings at all times – keep purses and bags closed, carry them in front of you and avoid hanging them on the back of chairs when in restaurants and cafes.
- Don’t leave your phone/device or personal belongings unattended, out of your sight, or left on a table. Thieves can strike and be on their way within seconds.
- Be aware of your surroundings and only use your mobile when it feels safe to, and when you’ve finished using it, put it away. Avoid texting while walking and if you need to make a call, consider going hands-free to prevent thieves from snatching your phone from your hand.
- Plan your route when travelling to a new destination or venue to avoid needing to check your phone for directions. Appear confident and look like you know where you are going.
Further information from the Police on how to stay safe and prevent personal theft is available here.
Remember to always report crime to the Police. In an emergency dial 999 and in a non-emergency 101, or you can report crime using the Met Police’s online form here. Online reports of crime are dealt with the same way as those reported over the phone.