D800e with 24-70 on a vacation in London?

Started May 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
Najinsky
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,597
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Re: D800e with 24-70 on a vacation in London?
In reply to quadraticadder, Jun 1, 2013

I see from some responses there's a differing of opinion about the safety of London. Crime stats are well reported and easily accessible:

For example there were 1934 personal thefts  around the Trafalgar Square area in April 2013. Click the link to see the Map.

While the numbers by themselves can be alarming, there are many other factors to bare in minds.

Obviously tourists are not the only victims, and the number of people moving through London each month is huge, with around 1.5M tourists each month and substantially more locals than that. So percentage-wise the odds are heavily in your favour for an incident free trip.

Also, not all thefts are real, I don't have figures but I know from doing some work with an Insurance company in London that they estimate a large number of theft reports are bogus and made to obtain an incident number to support (fraudulent) insurance claims. This will bring down the true theft figures, again tipping the odds more in your favour.

Finally, some people are more careless than others and can make themselves easy targets. That isn't to say they deserve it, but they may attract it.

Keeping valuables in secure pockets, cameras in your hand and/or tethered with a strap, not allowing yourself to be distracted, and taking other sensible precautions for a large city, should keep the vast majority of people safe and secure. Certainly to the point where you'd be very very unfortunate to be a victim, and for me to the point I hardly give it a moments thought. The precautions have become second nature.

A read through the virtual tourist site  will alert you to the most common problems and scams so you can decide on appropriate precautions.

Coincidentally, I was last in London 2 weeks ago and thought I'd become a victim.

I was making my way from Stratford to Gatwick with a rucksack on my back. At Stratford the rucksack was secure. I know this for certain because I checked my document wallet to make sure I had my passport, put it into the back section of the rucksack, on top of my cable and chargers bag, and then fully closed the zip.

I boarded the Central Line, changed at Oxford Circus for the Victoria line to Victoria Station and from there the Gatwick Express to catch my flight.

Once on the Gatwick Express, I took off the rucksack and noticed with some concern that the back section of my rucksack had been fully unzipped. My heart sank when I looked in the open pocket and saw no sign of the document wallet. It was way too big not to notice if it had slipped down the side of the bag of chargers, so I knew it was gone.

I started contemplating how I was going to travel back home without the passport. Technically it's a Domestic flight and I don't need a passport to travel, but not being a driver or serviceman, it's the only form of Photo ID I have, and Photo ID is a mandatory requirement. I keep a scan of my passport on my phone, my iPad and Computer, I obviously have my signature and the credit card used to book the flight so I'm thinking I'll be able to exaplain the situation to the airline and perhaps be allowed to travel. Once back home I can sort out a new passport, so I began to relax a little.

I then turned my attention to see if anything else had gone, I don't keep anything valuable in that section for just this reason. It's slightly ironic that I used to keep my passport in a secure pocket in my shorts, but this meant the passport got tatty and Immigration warned me that if it got too tatty they wouldn't accept it, which it why I'd started keeping it in the document wallet. So, I pulled out the bag of Cables and Chargers and to my surprise, sitting fully underneath it was the document wallet!

I have no idea how it got there. What is virtually certain is that somebody unzipped the back section while I was wearing it. There's no way it could unzip itself, even when being jostled. So this most likely happened either while waiting for the Victoria Line train at Oxford Circus, or on the ascent from the Victoria line tube up to the rail station. These are the two times I was standing up with the rucksack on my back while being constantly jostled and bumped by so many people that I didn't really pay any attention to my rucksack being knocked.

But what I can't figure out is how the document wallet ended up under the cable bag. It's almost like whoever opened the zip, pulled out the wallet and cable bag, realised there was no money or anything of value to them, and then put them back, but in reverse order with the cable bag on top of the document wallet. But that seems like a whole order of magnitude more unlikely than being a theft victim in the first place. Tho still more likely than pixies.

-Najinsky

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