” In this life-one thing counts-
in the bank-large amounts
I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees-
You’ve got to pick a pocket or two…..”
that is the lesson that the crook, Fagan, teaches Oliver Twist in the movie, “Oliver!”.)

In this 1968 movie adaptation of Charles Dickens’ heartrending novel, Oliver Twist, – Fagan, and his gang of pickpockets recruit the young orphan Oliver and teach him their trade.

Pickpockets are in the news currently, because of a novel scheme initiated as an advertising campaign, by a broadband provider, TalkTalk. The scheme is currently being run in London until the end of August.

There are 20 former pickpockets involved in the scheme, and instead of taking cash out of people’s pockets, they are putting some in!

‘Anything from 5 pounds ($8) to 20 pound notes is being surreptitiously deposited in unguarded pockets or open handbags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and other busy spots.

‘”It feels good to give something back for a change — and Britons certainly need it in the current economic climate,” said Chris Fitch, a former pickpocket who now heads TalkTalk’s putpocketing initiative.’

What a role reversal!

In India though, some policemen seem to have taken Fagan’s advice to Oliver to heart!

In Hyderabad, two police constables were caught red-handed a couple of weeks ago.

There was a function at the NTR Trust Bhavan, the Telagu Desam Party headquarters, as former Home Minister T Devender Goud rejoined the party with thousands of his followers.

‘Two pickpockets were arrested and Rs 40,000 recovered from them.’

‘”The two were cleaning out the pockets of those attending the function and were handing over the money to the two policemen who were standing outside the venue,” police said.

If the pickpockets were caught, the policemen would ‘come to their rescue and frisk them away on the pretext of handing them over at the police station!’

A good initiative was launched in Bath (UK) recently by the Bath Police. Over a thousand bells were obtained by them to hand out to shoppers in the city.

Bath Police are looking to make it difficult for thieves to get away with it. The bells attach to the purse so if lifted from a bag the bells make a noise alerting the owner and deterring the would be thief.”

Perhaps some bells could be attached to the two Hyderabad ‘pickpocket’ policemen, so people could know when they are in the area, and stay alert!

[ ‘Oliver!’ movie photo courtesy- Wikipedia]