Police crackdown on moped robbers in Westminster launched today

People in Westminster are being increasingly targeted by moped-riding robbers. Picture: Met Police/P

People in Westminster are being increasingly targeted by moped-riding robbers. Picture: Met Police/PA Archive - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police across London joined forces yesterday to crackdown on moped thefts.

The joint day of action and extension of the ongoing Operation Venice built on the success of a previous tri-borough pilot launched in August 2014 in Westminster, Islington and Camden.

The operation aims to crack on thefts of scooters and mopeds, as many stolen two-wheeled vehicles are used by criminals to commit robberies and other crime.

Under the pilot, Westminster and Camden both more than halved their monthly motorcycle offences, with reductions of 58 per cent and 51 per cent respectively, and in Islington crimes reduced by a third.

In order, the boroughs with the highest number of these offences are Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Southwark, Camden, Lambeth, and Westminster.

Yesterday, both the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police conducted targeted operations across the capital, including mass checks on parked up mopeds, raids on those suspected of stealing motorbikes or using them to commit crimes such as robbery, high visibility patrols in key hot spots, Automatic Number Place Recognition (APNR) checks, and giving free locks to owners at motor cycle parking bays.

Officers also handed out leaflets and spoke to owners to encourage them to consider additional measures to secure their mopeds and scooters, such as using fitted anchors, security loops, disc and chain locks, and audible alarms.

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There has been a significant rise in criminals turning to mopeds for use in committing crime.

In the last 12 months, there were in excess of 9,900 moped, scooter and motorcycle thefts reported across London, which equates to 27 stolen mopeds every single day.

Detective Superintendent Raffaele D’Orsi who leads Operation Venice said: “We are committed to taking every opportunity to divert, disrupt, detect and prosecute those involved in moped, scooter and motor cycle related criminality. This robust and collaborative response will ensure more offenders are brought to justice, and through industry engagement the vehicles are better protected with improved security measures”.

Detective Chief Inspector Clinton Blackburn, from City of London Police, added: “Motorcycles and mopeds stolen are being used to commit crimes including mobile phone snatches, smash and grabs as well as robberies.

“Working with partners as well as owners of motorbikes and mopeds we can reduce these crimes and bring the criminals to justice. I would urge anyone that sees someone acting suspiciously around these vehicles to call police immediately on 999.”