Pickpockets are being warned they will be wasting their time operating in Hammersmith after a new partnership between police and design students looks set to come up with innovative ways of tackling the problem.

Officers have made concerted efforts to target the menace after incidences of the crime rose last year, particularly in King Street.

But since August they have made 29 arrests, including six on one night at the Apollo, with a total of 53 charges being successfully brought.

And officers have shown they no intention of resting on their laurels after they enlisted the help of design students at Saint Martin's College, London, to come up with a raft of new measures to help keep the crooks further away.

The students front a national initiative called Design Against Crime, which aims to help reduce the threat from criminals through new design measures.

Their ideas include building chairs for pubs which include special hooks that bags can be attached too and designing cash points so it is less easy for crooks to steal pin numbers.

Their ideas will shortly be presented to the town's major companies, such as Coca Cola and Disney, as police look to gain the funding they need to roll the project out across the town.

Sergeant Jayme Johnson, who is leading the initiative, said: "We have already managed to make quite an impact on pickpockets. At one point we were seeing eight incidents per day in King Street but that has reduced dramatically.

"Yet we still estimate only 20 per cent of the crimes are reported so there is still work to be done and we want to make Hammersmith the least attractive place in London for the pickpockets to operate.

"We have been speaking to shops like TK Maxx and Primark, and they are getting so good at spotting people, but we want to get more on board and believe Design Against Crime can help."

Matthew John, of HammersmithLondon, the town's Business Improvement District, is supporting the plans.

He said: "For whatever reason, it's becoming a problem here and it's about getting all the stakeholders involved to see if we can stamp it out."