Don’t let crime ruin your trip to the UK

Visiting the UK?  Keep calm and stay safe – check out these tips for an enjoyable trip.

The Metropolitan Police in London have warned of criminal gangs posing as plain-clothed police officers to trick tourists into handing over money, bank cards, and valuables.  These criminals are using fake identity cards to trick unwary people into giving access to personal items.

Remember:

–          A genuine Police identity card has a photograph, name, identity number, and Metropolitan police hologram

–          Never hand over your passport, wallet, or valuables without verifying identity

–          Never give your debit/checking account PIN to anyone – not even a police officer!

–          If you are searched, observe all actions.  You are also entitled to a STOP and SEARCH receipt

–          Official police officers understand that you are verifying they are genuine

–          If unsure, call the Police non-emergency number 101 for help.

For general tips on the tactics used by pickpockets, and how to avoid them, take the time to watch the British Transport Police’ s helpful video: http://www.btp.police.uk/theft 

As for your passport, unless you’re exchanging currency or cashing traveler’s checks, you are unlikely to need it when you’re a tourist.  Bring a clear copy of your passport’s photo page, plus copies of your tickets and travel insurance documents, so you can store the originals safely while you’re out and about.

Should your passport get lost or stolen while you are in the United Kingdom, we can help you replace it at the Embassy in London, or the Consulates General in Edinburgh or Belfast. Here’s how: http://london.usembassy.gov/cons_new/acs/passports/lostpassport.html