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Police: Criminals likely to distribute fake cash during Olympics

Police in Islington have warned that criminals will see the 2012 London Olympics as an opportunity to spread their counterfeit coins and notes, reports.

Officers in the Greater London area believe there is a "good chance" that fraudsters will be looking to hand out fake currency to tourists, who presumably wouldn't be able to spot a genuine note from a poor copy.

There's every chance that vulnerable businesses and residents without professional cash management services could also be targeted, so locals are urged to be vigilant this summer.

Islington licensing officer Sgt Robin Clark claimed that fake £50 notes have already been spotted around a group of pubs in his area, despite the games officially arriving in 11 days.

"With the Olympics coming, there's a good chance there will be even more counterfeit notes about," he stated. "We have got tourists coming in and they're not used to seeing our currency on a daily basis, so therefore they will be more susceptible."

Sgt Clarke went on to say: "I would advise retailers and members of the public to be aware and check notes properly."

The opening ceremony is set take place on July 27, but criminals won't be waiting for a starting gun. According to, around 40,000 extra passengers will pass through Heathrow on Monday, July 16 - many of whom of whom will clutching tickets for the Games.

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