Video: Be alert to pickpockets this Christmas period

Pickpocket in action

Pickpocket in action

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Shoppers are being warned to be alert to pickpockets in the run up to Christmas

A new survey has found that mobile phones are the main target for street thieves, with the crooks snatching up to £190 of items each time.

While London is the UK pickpocketer’s paradise, Glasgow is the fourth top city for being robbed, behind Manchester and Birmingham.

It was revealed that 75 per cent of victim’s were unaware that they had been targeted.

Expert pickpocket and entertainer Lee Thompson, who advises the police on street theft techniques, said: “Unfortunately pickpocketing is very common, especially in areas where crowds gather and people are distracted. A good pickpocket understands human psychology and knows people can only direct their attention to one or two things at a time.

“There are ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of theft, such as being extra vigilant - if you expect you are being followed, go into a shop or change direction.

“Be aware of the helpful stranger or group of children who are experts in making conversation to distract you.

“Don’t look like a tourist, as pickpockets know day-trippers carry lump sums of money, get lost and are distracted easily.

“Finally, don’t advertise your valuables; keep them out of sight and keep the bare minimum cash and cards in your wallet.”