WILTSHIRE has been named as one of the safest places in the country from pick pocketers.

Information released through a freedom of information request showed that Wiltshire has the eighth safest place against the crime in the country, compared to London and Lincolnshire which had the highest levels.

Gloucestershire and Devon and Cornwall were also found to be in the lowest ten police force areas in the country for the crime.

Wiltshire saw 1,805 people fall victim to pickpocketing between 2012 and December last year, compared to Metropolitan Police in London, which dealt with more than 10 times as many incidents.

One incident of pickpocketing led to Wiltshire Police releasing advice over the festive period, after a victim had their wallet stolen during Salisbury Christmas markets.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “As the overall event organisers we are working closely with Wiltshire Police and have implemented visible security on site to provide a safe environment for visitors, traders and Christmas shoppers.”

Wiltshire Police issued advice about the crime and urged people not to let their guard down while away from home and said: “A thief can grab and run before you even have time to realise that your bag, purse or wallet has been stolen.” Advice from the force to keep people safe includes keeping wallets or purses out of sight when in a car, close to your body when out in public and never to keep it in a back pocket where a thief can steal it out of sight.On public transport, keep hold of it, with the clasp or zip shut so a thief cannot steal your purse. Always carry your purse or handbag close to your body.

James Brown, director of gadget insurance provider Protect Your Bubble.com, which carried out the research said: “While it is not exactly a surprise to see the sprawling metropolises of London and Manchester topping this list, it is interesting to see Lincolnshire being ranked so high.

“For the force to have recorded so many of these thefts, but have such a comparatively low population, suggests there are pickpockets aplenty operating in this area.

“Residents in this force area should take extra care when walking around with valuable, uninsured belongings, especially phones, tablets, laptops and jewellery.” Overall crimes figures increased by five percent in the last 12 months in Wiltshire, compared to a national average of 11 per cent.