A crime warning has been issued to spectators ahead of the Tour de France coming through Epping Forest on July 7.

Police have advised onlookers to keep wallets, purses and valuables out of sight to ensure pick-pockets don’t profit from the event.

Essex Watch Liaison Officer, Colin Freeman has urged those going into the crowds to keep valuables in zipped interior pockets of jackets and coats rather than the back pockets of jeans or trousers.

He said: "As the Tour de France approaches, like any public event, it will undoubtedly bring with it crowds of spectators and supporters, together with a golden opportunity for criminals."

Cycling fans are also urged to use cash points located inside banks and to ensure they are covering their pin number when entering it.

Mr Freeman also reminded homeowners to ensure their houses were secure if they were leaving to watch the race.