Police in Harrow are warning people to keep an eye on their possessions following a rise in pickpocketing.

Sergeant Mark Pullen of the Greenhill Safer Neighbourhoods team said there have been 21 pickpocketing crimes in the last month, six more than this time last year.

He said: “There hasn’t been an alarming increase but it’s more than we would normally have so we are keeping an eye on it.”

These crimes are carried out either by organised gangs or opportunists and 80 per cent of their victims are mothers with prams and bags.

Police are advising people to keep bags and belongings on them at all times, keep all zips and fastenings closed and to make sure belongings always remain in sight, especially in busy areas.

Officers are also encouraging people to record the serial number of any valuable items on the website immobilise.com so if they are stolen they can be returned to their correct owner when found.

Sergeant Pullen added: “Most of the crimes that have been reported to us have been opportunistic crimes.

“If people just look after their bags then 80 per cent of these crimes wouldn’t happen.”