More aggressive response may have displaced robbers from other areas
A report in the Times newspaper has published data on moped enabled crime which suggests that the Metropolitan Police’s success in reducing this type of offence may be limited to certain areas.
Although the more aggressive tactics that have been recently employed under Operation Venice have led to an decline in this type of crime across the capital, data for the borough of Merton show a sharp increase. This suggests that the criminals may be being displaced from areas where specialist equipment and trained officers are being deployed. The Met has had success in reducing moped crime by employing undercover officers and pursuit teams who can ram bikes as well as stinger devices. This has led to a 36% fall overall in this type of crime which has more or less ceased in certain boroughs.
However, according to the Times the increase in Merton borough in moped enabled crime from January to August this year was 108% with the number of instances rising from 91 to 189. The worst affected boroughs are in the west and north west of the city with Hillingdon seeing a rise of over 700% although the number of offences in this boroughs is lower than in Wandsworth. Two thirds of London boroughs have seen an increase in moped crime despite the overall drop.
When we asked the Met for comment they said they were unable to address data for individual boroughs but added, “The figures for moped enabled crime for the whole of 2017 is 23,457 and in 2018 up to 31st October is 13,007
“Operation Venice is incorporated into all London boroughs. We have made significant inroads into tackling moped/motorcycle crime as a result of working with our partners and using a wide range of tactics across the capital to tackle offenders and offending.
“This includes use of DNA forensic tagging spray, automatic tyre deflation devices and slim-line motorcycles.
“Although we have recorded decreases in offending, we are not complacent and realise more work needs to be done to reduce moped and motorcycle related crime.”
The Met released footage last month showing specially trained drivers pursuing and ramming suspected moped robbers. They are hoping to deter this type of crime which often involves the robber targeting handbags or mobile phones of their victims. It is estimated that some criminals can steal up to 30 phones an hour using this method.
December 9, 2018