Neighbourhood Update from the City of London Police – June 2023

Author: City of London Police


Increase in Laptop, Bag & Phone Thefts

The City of London Police are noticing a number of laptop, bag and phone thefts across the Eastern side of the City around Aldgate and the Tower area. The two below linked videos demonstrate how the majority of people fall victim to this type of offence that predominantly occurs in licensed premises, cafes and on the street. They offer some simple advice to prevent thieves from taking the opportunity to steal your belongings:-

Bag thefts

  • Keep your bag on you or very close to you and know where the item is at all times
  • Utilise bag hooks under tables if they are provided to keep items of the floor
  • If placing a bag on the ground, place a strap under the chair or table leg to prevent it being dragged away by an offender
  • If you see anyone acting suspiciously, contact the police. This may be people loitering around and paying attention to bags on the ground, pretending to be on the phone, getting very close to you, etc.

Phone thefts

  • Don’t leave your phone (or other device) unattended, out of your sight, or left on a table. Thieves can grab a phone from a table in seconds. Thieves may often try to distract you by placing a map or piece of paper over a phone left on a table whilst attempting to engage you in conversation.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and only use your mobile when it feels safe to. Ideally, use a hands-free set up.
  • Be mindful of people on bikes on the pavement. This includes riders wearing popular takeaway clothing as some thieves are known to use these as disguises.
  • When you’ve finished using your phone, put it away.

Bag Theft Video

Phone Snatching Video