Revealed: the worst London underground stations for pickpockets

Where are your valuables at risk on the tube, and why?

AP10ThingsToSee Britain Daily Life

A report has revealed the London underground stations where your pocket is most likely to be picked, and Kings Cross has emerged as the place you're most likely to have your valuables taken. Between January 2015 and February 2016, pickpockets struck 215 times at the station, so what can you do to protect yourself?

The study, put together by insurance company Policy Expert listed the top ten worst stations for pickpockets as:

1. Kings Cross
2. Oxford Circus
3. Victoria
4. Liverpool Street
5. Stratford
6. Bank/Monument
7. Leicester Square
8. Holborn
9. Green Park
10. Euston

Why?

Clearly thieves love the tube stations at railway terminals. They are packed with people who have just arrived in London and don't know where to go or what to do. They are distracted and unaware of the risks, and so are easy prey. They also contain their fair share of commuters on autopilot. For a similar reason, the hub at Stratford has people switching between different modes of transport, so have their minds on all sorts of things other than their personal safety.

Pickpockets also love the areas that are popular with tourists, including Oxford Circus, Leicester Square and Green Park. Again, the fact that they are so focused on where they are going makes them handy targets.

The study shows that wealthy commuters around Holborn and Bank are at risk too. During rush hour there are plenty of people travelling to work in the City providing a cramped environment in which to target wealthy commuters.

The report also highlighted that the Central Line was the route where pickpockets were most likely to work - with 632 incidents in 12 months. There are a number of reasons for this - there's the fact that trains are so cramped at rush hour, there's the prevalence of tourists travelling around the centre of town, and there's the fact that (especially in the centre) the stops are very close together, enabling a thief to get on at one stop, steal from unsuspecting travellers, and hop off a few moments later.

There's a good chance that these figures are under-reported too, because it only counts those people who realise what has happened quickly. For every person who spots their missing wallet and reports it to police, there must be several more who don't realise until the next time they try to pay for something.

Stay Safe

The British Transport police have issued advice to help people keep their valuables safe on the underground.

They advise people to keep purses and wallets secure. If you want to carry them in a pocket, make sure it is an inside one - ideally secured with a zip.

If you have your purse in a bag, ideally have it zipped into a compartment within your bag. You should also have the bag itself zipped up, and be carried on a short strap across your body, tucked under your arm, with any flaps against you.

Don't display any jewellery, expensive phones or money: keep them out of sight. If you have to use your phone, stay alert to people around you. Whatever you do, don't get straight on the phone when you get out of the station, because a number of thieves hang around the exits waiting for exactly this opportunity to steal your phone.

You should also protect your gadgets by locking them and installing a tracker application to help you find them. You need to keep a record of the unique reference number of your phone too. You can get this by dealing *#06#.

If you are carrying luggage, keep it with you at all times. If you need to put your bags on the floor, place them in front of you so you can keep an eye on them.


Top postcodes for theft

Top postcodes for theft