Attempted phone theft

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Wednesday 2 July 2008 4.43pm
Hi there everyone!

I'm new to this forum, having moved to SE1 last week. Am loving the diverse and bustling atmosphere south of the river, but something rather upsetting happened to me on Sunday.

I was walking along St Thomas St next to London Bridge when a couple of kids (could only have been 11-14) cycled past me on their bikes, having already ridden past me on Bermondsey Street, and one of them tried to snatch my phone out of my hand as i was putting it back in my handbag. I managed to wrestle it back and they just sped off, sniggering loudly. How is it that i cant walk along a stretch of road at 6pm on a sunday talking on my phone in broad daylight without someone trying to rob me?!

Now I've lived in London for over 2 years now (including a year living in Wood Green) and this is the first time I've ever felt under threat or had anyone try to nick something from me. Has this happened to anyone else along that stretch of road or is this something I'll have to get used to?

Wednesday 2 July 2008 5.10pm
Welcome to SE1, and the best local forum around.
I would say street phone theft is a London wide problem and unfortunately you have been unlucky to have it happen to you so soon after moving here. The police do advise against walking along streets talking visibly on a mobile phone, but I would say as long as you have your street radar on alert you're pretty safe around here. A lot of local thieves do have form for riding bikes and committing thefts so bear this in mind. Do get insurance for your phone and worry not if it's nicked, just give it up and stay safe...
Wednesday 2 July 2008 5.35pm
Welcome to SE1!

I think you've just been unlucky. A friend of mine got mugged outside his new flat having only lived there for a matter of days (this was in Kennington). It really put the wind up him, but everything has been fine since. Just s*d's law I'm afraid...

I've never had any problems in SE1, but you should always be aware of your surroundings as you would in any big city.

Wednesday 2 July 2008 6.02pm
Welcome Emma!

sorry to hear of your experience - do report it to the police as they may be able to gather CCTV evidence from the cameras on that street.

I read somewhere that an ideal place to grab mobile phones is near tube stations - folks get their phones out to see if they have missed calls/txt messages while they had no signal - walk for a couple of mins from the station before attempting to get your phone out!
Wednesday 2 July 2008 6.02pm
Echoing other statements above, welcome to SE1. I've never had trouble in 6 years here. Personally I wouldn't walk along the streets using a mobile anywhere without being very careful indeed. I think you were very unlucky; SE1 is THE place to live.
Thursday 3 July 2008 9.17am
Thanks for all your advice guys - it's lovely to be made to feel so welcome! :-)


Thursday 3 July 2008 10.41am
Hi Emma, this sort of thing can happen anywhere and like some have put before me, people target tube areas etc as lots of people around there will not actually be from the area - thus not likely to be recognised again.

I think a few simple precautions helps to eliminate things like this happening, such as when on the phone walk close to the wall or building, with the phone in the hand close to the building so that they can't ride past and snatch it.
when on the phone, try to cover as much of it as you can with your hand.
Or use headphones/or those awful bluetooth ear things - that way your phone's in your pocket.
Also, as someone has already pointed out always be aware of who is around you - looking dodgy etc.

Enjoy living in SE1 though.
Thursday 3 July 2008 11.19am
Hi Emma, I've been an SE1-er since last year and am loving it. Great place, great sense of community and - incidentally - great police Safer Neighbourhood team down at Southwark Police Station.

I too had my phone nicked (on a bus ) in the first week I was here and it kind of shook me. Never happened before and hasn't happened since. Thinking back, I reckon it may partly have been due to being knackered after my move - slightly disoriented, defences-not-quite-up-to-usual thing. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. And add to the chorus of welcome. Hope you'll be very happy here.
Friday 4 July 2008 9.28am
I was in the Horiman pub (in Hay's) last night and a young kid came over and put a tube map over my friends phone asking for directions and tried to pick the phone up. I'd seen the scam on telly a few months ago, my friend was mortified.
Friday 4 July 2008 10.29am
Pops wrote:
I was in the Horiman pub (in Hay's) last night and a young kid came over and put a tube map over my friends phone asking for directions and tried to pick the phone up. I'd seen the scam on telly a few months ago, my friend was mortified.

This is standard practice in W1 coffee shops and bars...
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