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Security : Illegal gambling scams on London’s bridges

gambling scam

Many of the scams are variations on a particular theme and have been around for years. One of the oldest scams is ‘Find the Lady’ or ‘cup and ball’ where you are invited to bet on where the ball is located under three cups. A recent case involving City of London Police suggest there are still scamsters trying  this  on London bridges.

Public warned to avoid illegal gambling scams on London’s bridges

The City of London Police are warning Londoners, and particularly tourists, about gambling scams taking place in London on some of our most iconic bridges.​

Two men were charged under section 33 of the Gambling Act on Sunday 15 March after off-duty City of London Police officer Insp Harley witnessed a group of men undertaking a ‘cup and ball’ game on Tower Bridge.

The game works by the gang targeting tourists to get them to try and predict which cup the plastic ball will be under.

Community Policing Insp Harley witnessed suspects encouraging members of the public to participate in playing the game. This is done to entice unsuspecting members of the public to gamble money with no chance of winning.

City of London Police Inspector Harley said “These games are not a matter of chance, but are fixed to ensure members of the public do not win.

“Our community policing officers will continue to work with the City of London Corporation and our neighbouring boroughs to target this criminal activity.” ​​​

It pays to be extra vigilant on bridges which are often considered safe ground by many beggars, scamsters and musicians because they do not seem to fall within any local authorities jurisdiction, however they are patrolled by police and if you spot suspicious activity, report it to a uniformed police officer.

If you come across suspicious activity, report it to a uniformed officer in the street or in a police station.

101 is the Non emergency  number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.

Non emergency usually include: Stolen car, Laptop, Smartphones and mobile phone, Minor traffic collision , Property damage, Drug dealing.

You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Security : Police Impersonators

City-Police155x100

One of the more unusual scams is criminals impersonating a police officer,  this report by the City of London police involves a case where the supposed police officer checks for counterfeit money.  This would never happen with real police officers who would be very careful in dealing with a visitors personal items especially cash and credit cards. If you were suspected of a crime, the usual routine would be you would be taken to the local police station. Plain clothes policeman should have identification and must show it if they want to carry out a search. If you are approached by a policeman in this type of case and are suspicious, demand to be taken to the local station or find a uniformed officer before you give any items over to the person.

Police impersonator who stole from London’s tourists sentenced to ten months in jail

The man was part of an organised crime group who targeted victims by posing as tourists and police officers.One of the gang would pose as a fake tourist and then approach a genuine tourist asking for directions using a map. This encounter gave an opportunity for a fake police officer to intervene so that he can then search the genuine tourist for counterfeit money.

The police impersonator uses a UV torch to scan over cash and will use an official identity card as a fake warrant card. During the search, the fake officer will take items such as cash, identity cards, bank cards, personal items and sometimes demand the victims pin for their bank cards.

On 28 January 2014 City of London Police officers arrested the man on suspicion of going equipped to steal. He was dressed in smart clothes and was accompanied by another man impersonating a tourist, with a camera around his neck. Following a search by City of London Police officers the man was found in possession with an identity card in a black wallet alongside a photo card that flipped out of the main wallet giving the appearance of some type of official document.

He also had a small key ring style torch, a pair of Nokia mobile phone earphones that had one of the earphones removed which was dangling from an inside jacket pocket.

The camera was non functional and was believed to be a prop.

City of London Police Inspector Doug Blackwood Said, “These men deliberately preyed on innocent tourists who were not familiar with police procedures in the UK. This made them easy targets to this type of scam.

“What was meant to be an enjoyable and unforgettable visit to London had instead turned out to be a nightmare for many of the victims. They left London with the memory of the man stealing their money and personal belongings.

“I hope today’s sentencing acts as a warning to those predators who wish to come into the City and prey on innocent victims. ​​​​​​

If you come across suspicious activity, report it to a uniformed officer in the street or in a police station.

101 is the Non emergency  number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.

Non emergency usually include: Stolen car, Laptop, Smartphones and mobile phone, Minor traffic collision , Property damage, Drug dealing.

You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here