One memorable scene from the 1968 hit musical Oliver! featured Fagin teaching urchins the art of pickpocketing to the tune of You've Got To Pick A Pocket or Two. Fagin's message seems to have been adopted worldwide, as there is hardly a country that doesn't have a pickpocket problem, although one suspects there aren't too many in North Korea. According to the Daily Mail, in Britain alone last year there were an estimated 1,700 cases a day.
The situation was highlighted recently when the Louvre in Paris had to close for a day after staff walked out, complaining that the place was being overrun by "aggressive pickpockets". Even the staff were being regularly "dipped".
Paris is not the worst place for pickpockets, however, ranking third according to recent surveys. For many years Barcelona has held the dubious honour of the pickpocketing capital of the world, followed by Rome, Prague and Madrid.
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