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If you're heading to Europe for a city break this spring, you need to be aware of your personal safety. Big cities are a mecca for pickpockets and other criminals who target unsuspecting holidaymakers out to have a good time!

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Date: 06/03/2013

Beware of pick pocketing when travelling abroad

Be Aware

The underground system in most European cities is a prime location for pickpockets to strike. You're travelling in a crowded carriage, pressed up against other people and of course you'll be nudged and bumped against, so why would you turn around to check who's nudging you? It might be a pickpocket trying to get their hands inside your bag - some of these criminals are so well practiced at what they do that they can have your mobile phone and wallet in their pockets before you've even realised that anyone has been in your bag. Try to keep items in different sections of your handbag and split your money up, so that if the worst happens and your wallet is taken, you still have some cash. Men should carry wallets in a rucksack or hip-bag rather than in their pockets - if you do have to keep your wallet in your pocket make sure it's the front one, so that you can keep an eye on it.

Stash your Valuables

It makes sense to leave the majority of your cash back at your hotel if you have a room-safe (most European hotels do), so only carry what you need for the day. You should carry your passport with you, but try to keep valuable items such as your wallet, phone and passport in interior pockets inside your bag rather than exterior pockets, which are easily accessible by skilled thieves.

Cover Yourself

When you're out to have a good time, the last thing you are thinking about is probably your personal safety. During busy street parties, such as the Edinburgh Festival, gangs of pickpockets target tourists and usually manage to get away with valuable items such as cameras, mobile phones and wallets. You should ensure that you have valid travel insurance in place before going on holiday.