Tower Hamlets and Hackney are among the the worst boroughs for pickpocketing on the Tube according to new figures from the British Transport Police.
They show that the Central line – that crosses Tower Hamlets and Hackney as well as other London boroughs – had 879 thefts between August 2017 and July 2018, more than all other Underground lines.
With 16 per cent of all thefts, the Central line ranked top with a total of 879 , followed closely by the Piccadilly line with 864, then the Victoria line with 726.
With a high increase of 35% of total thefts on the London Underground in the last two years, it is estimated that a total of 5,153 pickpockets have acted throughout the city this year.
Saturdays are when thieves are most active, with some on average picking up to 900 pockets in one day.
Otherwise the rush hour, between 6 and 7pm is the most likely time to be pick-pocketed with dense crowds making for easy pickings.
54 per cent of women have been victims compared to 41 per cent for men. It has been stated that women aged 25-34 are more likely to be targeted than any other age group.
Adam Powell, operations director at Policy Insurer, said: “Thieves usually use distraction tactics where they try and divert a person’s attention so items can be stolen – usually a phone, watch, wallet, tablet, or a gadget of some description, but sometimes an entire handbag.
“The Tube can be a busy place, so it’s important to ensure you’re not a target for opportunistic thieves when swept up in the crowds. Keep an eye on your bags and any other valuables, and be vigilant around other passengers.”
Policy Expert offered these tips to protect passengers against pickpockets while on the tube:
- The most stolen items are often mobile phones – while it’s tempting to check your phone when on the move, ensure you’re being sensible with where you make calls and texts. Keep it out of sight in a zipped bag or pocket.
- Never idly put down any small valuable item, such as a phone or purse. Valuables left on seats will be both easy and tempting to snatch.
- Keep your bag where you can see it, ideally in front of you or diagonally across your chest.
- Conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge.
- If you’re using a cash, ticket or oyster machine, be wary of who is around you and make sure your pin is covered.
- Thieves often work in groups, so try not be distracted by commotion or attention which could be a ploy.
- Finally, check whether your home insurance policy includes away from home cover so if the worst does happen, you at least know you are covered financially.