London, Jan 9 (ANI): The British police have warned West End revellers to beware of the 'hugger muggers' that are targeting pedestrians.
The muggers or robbers, according to Scotland Yard, befriend their victims by chatting or asking them to join in a drunken dance, and then relieve them of their wallets or phones.
The police, who first became aware of the offence a few years ago, say the thieves are responsible for 60 per cent of muggings in Westminster, and usually work with certain accomplices.
"Basically it is strangers coming up to people and trying to befriend them and hugging them," the Telegraph quoted detective Inspector Sean Oxley as saying.
"There are people who try and dance with you while another method is for someone to play football with you in the street with a can. They try anything to get close so they can grab a wallet or a phone," he added.
The "hugger muggers" often pretend to be drunk themselves, and target people coming out of pubs and clubs in the early hours.
The police are also advising people to drink safely, be aware of unsolicited approaches, and report offences immediately. (ANI)