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Heartless criminals pickpocketing old people on London buses after they withdraw cash from bank


Transport for London (TfL) has reported that criminals have been lying in wait for elderly and other vulnerable people and pickpocketing them on buses after they had withdrawn cash at a bank branch. The authority has listed areas where this has been especially prevalent.

One person has been linked to more than 20 offences. An operation has been launched to combat the thefts, which bosses say has been successful in reducing them. This was raised in documents for the next meeting of TfL’s board, scheduled for June 12.

They read: “Safer Transport Teams in East London lead Operation Stepron, aimed at reducing incidents where elderly, vulnerable customers are followed from banks after withdrawing cash and then pickpocketed on buses. The operation combined training for bank staff and crime prevention advice for our customers.

“As a result, these incidents decreased by 77 per cent in Ilford, 80 percent in Romford, and 60 per cent in Barking. Five pickpockets were arrested during the operation, with one individual linked to more than 20 offences.”

Tube ticket checker pushed and kicked

Papers also described how a Tube ticket checker was pushed and repeatedly kicked at a London Underground station. Officials say a passenger lashed out at Paddington station after they were challenged over ‘a revenue issue’.

The person initially pleaded not guilty in court, but changed his stance at trial. TfL bosses suggest that body-worn camera footage may have led to this.

TfL says it is ‘committed to doing all we can to protect our colleagues and keep them safe in the workplace’. A report to the authority’s board stated: “We have made significant progress against our strategy to eradicate work-related violence and aggression. In February, we introduced new guidance specifically intended to support our capital colleagues in managing the risks from violence and aggression.”

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