Tourists flock to London. Unfortunately, so do the criminals who prey upon these visitors. London has a high rate of petty theft, including theft of wallets, purses and bags. To avoid being a victim of theft you should always follow these simple guidelines:
DO NOT put your cash, wallet or mobile in your back pocket, as this makes it easier for pickpockets to steal.
ALWAYS wear backpacks in front of you (with the backpack resting against your chest). For ladies, wear purses with the strap across your chest, as this makes it more difficult for thieves to snatch your purse than wearing it on your shoulder or holding it in your hand.
ALWAYS keep your personal items with you at all times. If you are in a bar/restaurant do not leave your bag unattended. Be aware of your surroundings, and do not leave your bag on the back of chairs, under the table etc. Many pubs provide handbag clips under the table for your bags to hang on.
BE AWARE of distraction theft. This is an increasing problem in London. A distraction theft may involve someone spilling a drink, or an ice cream on you. Whilst they are assisting you in removing the mess from your clothing their accomplice is picking your pocket.
DO NOT carry around large amounts of cash and try to avoid wearing expensive jewellery and clothes and certainly nothing that indicates you are a tourist (baseball hats from colleges etc).