Police are reminding the public to remain vigilant and keep their possessions safe as millions prepare to attend the London Marathon in support of the thousands of runners taking part in the event on April 23.
The annual event takes place in the centre of the Capital and will involve hundreds of officers from the Metropolitan Police Service, as well as colleagues from City of London Police and British Transport Police.
A number of road closures will be put in place and people attending the event are urged to plan their journeys in advance and check the Official London Marathon and Transport for London websites to make sure they can travel across the city safely for the best views.
Commander Jane Connors, who is leading the policing operation for the London Marathon, said: “The Marathon is a fantastic event and embodies everything that’s great about London. Our priority is to ensure that those taking part and watching have a safe and enjoyable experience and I’d like to reassure people that there is a comprehensive policing plan in place to achieve this.
“There will be a strong, visible presence of officers along the entire route and at transport hubs across London, but if you notice anything suspicious, then please report it to us.
“I’d also like to emphasise that given the nature of the event, it is very rare to see crime or disorder, but I’d ask anyone planning to attend to take basic precautions to keep their possessions safe.”
Although a comprehensive policing plan is in place to keep both runners and spectators safe, police are issuing some basic tips and advice to the public to ensure that there are no easy pickings for potential thieves or criminals. Police are also asking for any suspicious activity to be reported to an officer in person or to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
Top tips to avoid pickpockets and thieves:
– Do keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times and carry bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest.
– Do return cards to your purse or wallet quickly and zip it up or button it.
– Do use a purse that’s difficult to open. One that zips or snaps shut is best, and keep it closed.
– Do conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge.
– Do keep a list, separate from your wallet and phone, of contact numbers of family in case your phone is stolen.
– Don’t hang items on the back of a chair.
– Don’t leave anything on the back of a pushchair.
– Don’t place your belongings out of sight on the floor.
For more information about the event visit: www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com
For travel information in London visit: www.tfl.gov.uk