Search

Table-surfing crimewave sweeping bars and cafés in Islington

15:09 12 July 2012

'Table-surfing' is a growing problem.

2010 Getty Images

Police say they are a tackling a new table-surfing crimewave sweeping Islington.

How to stay safe

- Keep valuables out of sight and your with you. As well as attracting pickpockets, you could cause a security alert.

- In restaurants, bars or theatres don’t keep bags on the floor or over the back of your chair out of sight

- On buses or trains, wear them in front of you, not over your shoulder.

- Don’t’ keep all valuables in one place and don’t carry lots cash around with you.

- Visit www.btp.police.uk/pickpockets/ to see how theives operate

Table surfing is a distraction- based theft that is becoming more common in busy bars and cafés around Angel Tube, with up to 45 incidents taking place over a weekend.

People who leave their phone on a table while they are reading or using a tablet device are most at risk. The crook either walks past, swiping the phone as they go, or approaches the victim with a map or Big Issue and puts it over the phone.

When they leave, they pick up the map or magazine and take the phone with it.

Islington police recently launched a big operation to target table surfing, with large numbers of uniformed plain clothes officers, as well as surveillance.

They made nine arrests over the nineday period, and intend to repeat the operation as criminals will see the Olympic crowds as rich pickings.

Det Insp Simon Smith said: “The basic message, is don’t leave your phone on the table.

“This goes on in cafés as well as bars and on a busy night they can go from table to table, stealing phones in a single venue.

“A few of the people we have arrested are drug addicts, but mainly they are eastern European, sometimes from the same family or village, who see this as their job, and they are not going to stop.

“It is a rising problem in Islington and they are organised gangs.

‘‘We think they are coming here in preparation for the Olympics.”

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

15:34
James Murray and Sadiq Khan in the Brunswick Estate, Clerkenwell, during the mayor's election campaign earlier this year. Picture: Islington Labour

Today’s appointment of an Islington councillor to London’s top housing job is “great news for the borough”.

14:03
Idris Cartright, four and Samuel Hill, four, take part in some pond-dipping at the event

It was all smiles at Gillespie Park on Sunday as more than 500 people joined the great and the good of Islington politics to celebrate its 20th year as a nature reserve.

12:32
The classroom at St Andrews

St Andrew’s Montessori School was this week celebrating its second successive “outstanding” award from Ofsted following an inspection last month.

11:29
Richard Blair, the adopted son of George Orwell, unveiling a new plaque in Canonbury Square where he lived for three years. Picture: Ken Mears

A historical plaque is taken down and replaced with a near-identical sign – save one detail.

Yesterday, 17:14
Police outside City and Islington College in Goswell Road on Monday afternoon (Picture: Ken Mears)

A street brawl near City and Islington College in Goswell Road saw two men taken to hospital and the campus evacuated by police.

Yesterday, 11:42
Georges Road residents in Holloway get ready to build the 10m-high pole

Holloway homeowners were “shocked” at their own protest against a housing development.

Yesterday, 09:00
The Night Tube map showing which services will run all night

Transport for London (TfL) and City Hall have today announced an official start date for the Night Tube after months of speculation.

Yesterday, 07:00
Teachers at the launch take part in an exercise

A trailblazing scheme to keep kids safe online, successfully trialled in Islington over the last year, has been rolled out across the country.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe