Birmingham finishes ‘second best’ in hidden camera honesty test

Written by on October 1, 2018

BIRMINGHAM has scored well in a hidden camera social experiment carried out in several cities in the UK.

Wallets were dropped in the street in each of the cities, giving people who saw what happened the chance to ‘return’, ‘ignore’ or ‘steal’.

The experiment was carried out by to find out which city would have the most ‘good Samaritans’ and people who ‘did the right thing’.

The Second City lived up to its name, being beaten only by Cardiff.

Of the 30 times the male actor dropped the wallet, it was returned 27 times, although it was stolen on three occasion. The scores were slightly worse when it came to the female actor.

Of the 30 times the wallet was dropped by the woman, it was handed back 17 times but ignored 13 times. In Cardiff both wallets were returned 30 times out of 30.

In Bristol there were 12 stolen wallets and in Cheltenham it was taken ten times.

Of all the thefts it was only men who attempted to steal the wallet from the male actor.

Those who ignored the female actors’ wallets on the floor were also mostly male.

For those fortunate enough to have their wallet returned, the good Samaritans were a complete mix of male and female.

Anders Nilsson, spokesperson at, said: “Whilst the experiment has shown there are some good Samaritans among us, it’s still surprising to see just how many people will choose to ignore the situation when they witness someone dropping their wallet.

“As someone who’s experienced having their wallet stolen, I know how stressful and disruptive it can be not to have access to your cash and cards.

“There also seems to be a gender split emerging, where people are more likely to steal a wallet from a male and more likely to return a wallet to a female.

“Hopefully this experiment has shown that, for the most part, people around the UK will do the right thing.

“And for those who might be tempted to walk by or snaffle a wallet for themselves, maybe they’ll think twice and either make sure it gets returned or at least hand it in to a police station or lost property office.”

Readers can also go to to say what they and others would do.

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