Over the last few weeks, I've noticed large groups of men with faces painted to look like Charlie Chaplin (I can only presume), hanging around on Waterloo Bridge. This is in the evening. Initially I thought it was some fancy dress thing going on, but subsequently I've seen them standing around tourists, intimidating them to handover money. I think they encourage photos, and then demand ridiculous payment.
Is this a new scam? Is it the same people that used to do the cup game, but have moved onto something else. These large groups of men really are intimidating, and I feel very sorry for the tourists that fall foul of them.
are you sure you mean Waterloo Bridge and not Westminster Bridge. As Chair of Bishops SNT Panel I have passed onto our Ward Sergeant. This is not a new scam but one that has been operating for some time on Westminster Bridge
I have seen them near the big wheel. Have you not seen the TV program called the Romanians are coming? This will explain. There are just too many of them. Do they have to have some sort of license to operate? If not why not as they should be paying tax.
I think I first saw them about a year ago - but there was just two of them then, working the crowds outside Westminster tube station (the entrance on the bridge approach, opposite the Houses of Parliament). The whole of that area could do with a much more visible and consistent police presence - the occasional moving on of one group of scammers just doesn't cut it.