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Throwback to Fagin and his gang: Southwark is still notoriously bad for pickpocketing according to new data

Southwark is famous for being home to Fagin’s gang of pickpockets in Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist – and still ranks high for this type of crime according to data from comparethemarket.com

Through Freedom of Information Requests to police authorities across the country the comparison website has listed Southwark as third highest hotspot for pickpockets with a total of 6,364 thefts in 2019 and 2020.

The area around Dockhead and Shad Thames, Jacob’s Island in Victorian times, was the setting as the home for Fagin’s gang of pickpockets in Dickens’s novel as it was so crime infested in the 1800s.

Only Westminster with a staggering 27,524 and Camden with 9,898 beat Southwark into first and second place, while neighbouring Lambeth came seventh with 4,000 pickpocket instances in 2019 and 2020.

The research revealed that of the top 20 pickpocketing hotspots in the UK eighteen were in London, only Leeds ranked ninth and Sheffield seventeenth were listed as outside the capital.

As with all areas, while there were 4,217 thefts in Southwark in 2019, that decreased to 2,449 in 2020, no doubt due to the number of people at home because of Covid restrictions.

According to the figures, the top 20 worst places for pickpocket theft are:

 

Rank Location  2019 2020 Total theft
1 Westminster 19,690 7,834 27,524
2 Camden 6,313 3,585 9,898
3 Southwark 4,217 2,147 6,364
4 Islington 3,509 2,449 5,958
5 Hackney 3,332 2,402 5,734
6 Newham 2,609 2,498 5,107
7 Lambeth 2,677 1,323 4,000
8 Tower Hamlets 2,203 1,293 3,496
9 Leeds 2,361 1,071 3,432
10 Kensington And Chelsea 2,372 912 3,284
11 Haringey 1,881 1,264 3,145
12 Redbridge 991 838 1,829
13 Brent 1,024 689 1,713
14 Hammersmith And Fulham 1,068 642 1,710
15 Barnet 1,084 616 1,700
16 Waltham Forest 955 723 1,678
17 Sheffield 1,043 493 1,536
18 Enfield 863 663 1,526
19 Ealing 942 551 1,493
20 Wandsworth 845 601 1,446

To see other UK areas where you could fall victim to pickpocketing, and to get more tips on keeping your belongings safe when you travel, visit https://www.comparethemarket.com/travel-insurance/content/pickpocketing-hotspots/

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