Europe / London / Travel / United Kingdom

London: Pickpocketed At Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

Prelude: Major throwback of my travel story as I have plenty time to write about during this COVID-19 lockdown in Malaysia. Let’s randomly starts with my Short London Trip in Winter 2017. It was a quick 3-days-2-night trip in London before beginning my main Northern Italy tour. After visiting London many times in 2014 (when I was studying in UK), it had become my starting point of any European travel.

Did many travelling in 2014 and heard many stories about pickpocketing around European countries but never really encountered any of these pickpocketing event. In the UK, I felt much safer than other countries but this trip changes my thought totally. Yes, my brother got pickpocketed in this crowded and famous Portobello Road Market at Notting Hill.

Having living in the UK before for a year back in 2014, I’ve never put any vigilant note when I was going around this country actually. Wallet was on the back pocket, phone was in the jacket pocket some times. Thus, we were put-easy while looking at stuff along this congested street.

He was looking at beautiful vintage camera, and was about to reach his hand to grab the phone out to snap a photo; “Holy shit, where is my phone?”. Hand was quickly searching around all his pockets, in and out and into his camera sling bag. Nowhere it could be found. Me & him started to feel frustrated and I too, check my belongings to make sure it’s there.

A new iPhone X was taken away, without any notice and probably during his full attention on browsing the vintage camera. Nothing much could be done except to dash to the nearest police station right away and also to stop all Apple Wallet-connected services. Moment of disappointment expresses on the face, and heck, it was the 2nd day we arrived in London.

At the police station, another French tourist encountered a similar crime and they’ve got a CCTV footage from a store showing the entire process. “Nothing that we could do”, said the policewoman and asked us to make the police report online. It’s a very common crime at this market which we were not aware of.

Well, lesson learned and brother managed to recover the phone amount via insurance claim. Feeling sad? Better not as it’d ruin the rest of the trip. Just be vigilant, really and buy a travel insurance, really, don’t play with luck!

Nevertheless, London is still beautiful and PICKPOCKET is a real thing in Europe! I heard (stereotype thinking) most of the time is the Gypsies. Yeah, I heard.

Good Photos from Portobello Road Market:

About Author

Nick is an interior designer and tech enthusiast based in Penang, Malaysia who constantly exploring places, indulges great food, discovering good design and is a shutterbug. Nick usually writes about Penang, happenings, travel, food, design and personal thoughts.

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