London Underground pickpocketing reports double

Over 5,000 offences occurred in 12 months

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The number of pickpocketing offences reported on London's Underground network has more than doubled in two years.

Figures released by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan showed there were 5,128 offences in 2018/19, compared with 2,532 in 2016/17 - more than 14 reports every day.

There were also increases in crime on the Overground and Docklands Light Railey (DLR).

Organised gangs of pickpockets from South America and eastern Europe are thought to be targetting the Tube, especially during the busy tourist seasons.

The Piccadilly and Central lines were the most crime-ridden, according to police.

Conservative London Assembly member Susan Hall told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham the figures were a “disgrace”.

“Whether it’s above ground, below ground, we’re getting to epidemic levels of crime and yet Sadiq Khan sits in front of us saying that it’s safer now than it was when he took over. The man’s deluded,” she said.

“The problem is crime is up so much above ground it’s inevitably going to go underground.”

She said Underground users should keep their bags zipped up and be aware of those around them.

“In rush hour you’re packed in like sardines so it’s easy for people to put their hands in your bag,” she said.

A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan said 3,000 officers are “dedicated to patrolling and investigating crime on the transport network”.

Passengers can report a theft by texting police on 61016.

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