Pickpocket jailed following Dip Squad success
12 October 2012
A wanted prolific pick pocket who preyed on bus passengers has received a five and half month prison sentence thanks to the observational skills of a Dip Squad officer from the MPS Safer Transport Command (STC).
Yordanka Georgieva, 40yrs, of Turnpike Lane, Haringey was sentenced at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on 2 October for pickpocket offences in Southwark, Edgware, Manor House, and Holloway.
She pleaded guilty and received a total of 22 weeks imprisonment.
The activities of Georgieva were spotted by the keen eyes of a Safer Transport Command Dip Squad officer on the 5 September as he walked along Pentonville Road, Camden. He instantly recognised her from her photograph as one of the Dip Squads' most wanted and so began to follow her.
The officer quickly ascertained that she was equipped with the usual pickpocket tools such as an empty shoulder bag and weighted down carrier bags. She also was looking around at bags and belongings of potential victims. As Georgieva attempted to board a bus the officer prevented her from doing so and placed her under arrest.
She was taken to Islington Police Station and charged with four counts of theft from person and remanded in custody to appear at Highbury Magistrates Court.
This conviction was as a direct result of the unique skills of the STC Dip Squad and the overwhelming and good quality on-bus CCTV.
This arrest also builds upon the success of Project Spiderweb a London-wide joint initiative between TfL, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the British Transport Police (BTP) which reduced crime on the transport network by 10 per cent from June 2011 to August 2012 on public transport. This partnership will continue to work together to share best practice, policing and intelligence which will continually impact upon this crime.
Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command said:
"Safer Transport Command has the primary aim of safeguarding the travelling public from criminals and to keep them safe whilst using London's bus system.
"The skills of the Dip Squad are second to none and this quick identification and investigation ensures Georgieva receives time in jail, preventing her from carrying out any further criminal activity on the transport network.
"If you commit an offence, you will be caught and if convicted every avenue of punishment will be considered - so the advice in this message is clear: Crime on London's bus system will NOT be tolerated - we will get those responsible."
Steve Burton, TfL's Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing said:
"This was a real coup for the diligent officer and we are glad that someone as prolific as Georgieva has been given a sentence that reflects the seriousness of her crimes.
"Although crime on buses in London is at an eight year low, we will continue to work with the Safer Transport Command to bring that down even further and ensure the safety and security of our passengers."
Here are some tips to remember when travelling:
- Keep your possessions with you, fully zipped and out of sight at all times
- Never keep your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket
- Keep your handbag over your shoulder diagonally and if possible with you coat
- Try to have your ticket, pass or change ready in your hand so your purse or wallet is out of sight
- Stay alert, especially in large crowds and be aware of the activities of people around you
- If you think you may have lost your property, speak to a member of staff or visit www.tfl.gov.uk/lostproperty
- Report stolen property to a police officer or to a member of staff (reporting an item as being stolen if it has been lost is a criminal offence)
- If you see anything suspicious report it to a police officer or member of staff
- For details of your local transport policing team visit: www.tfl.gov.uk/coporate/about-tfl/19630.aspxtate