Search

Table-surfing crimewave sweeping bars and cafés in Islington

15:09 12 July 2012

'Table-surfing' is a growing problem.

'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

Yesterday, 16:29

A sexual predator who randomly attacked a teenage girl as she walked to school in Highbury has today been jailed for six years.

Yesterday, 15:38

Theodore Johnson, 63, appeared at the Old Bailey this morning charged with murdering the 51-year-old last month.

Yesterday, 14:23

Green-fingered youngsters could be growing their own fruit and veg if their school wins a £5,000 grant.

Yesterday, 10:38

The Cally’s Westbourne Estate celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday. the Gazette hears how it was reclaimed from the hands of drug dealers.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A self-styled devil worshipper who locked a teenager in his Barnsbury flat and raped her has been jailed for nine years.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The leader of Islington Council believes plans for a new academy will address the shortage of primary schools places in the area.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Divisive Highbury Grove head Tom Sherrington, who came under fire last year over job cuts, finances and discipline, has left the school with immediate effect.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Traditional cars will be banned from parking and loading in a number roads around Old Street in the hope of cleaning up Shoreditch’s filthy air.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now