Crimes by thieves mounted in pairs on mopeds snatching mobile phones from pedestrians have surged in recent years, with the thefts rising to the point where some individual central-London streets see hundreds of attacks a year.
According to new data from London’s Metropolitan Police, the worst affected street in the capital is top shopping and tourist hotspot Oxford Street, where attacks have risen from 13 to 291 between 2015 and 2017, equivalent to 2,138 per cent.
The BBC reports other streets have seen similar rises, including the nearby Regent Street’s rise to 91 attacks, and Bond Street to 14 such thefts.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Police spokesman Superintendent Mark Payne said of the behaviour by pedestrians that enabled such criminals: “These offenders rely on the unwariness of the public to snatch their phones while they make calls so it is so important that the public is aware of their surroundings at all times and protect their personal property, particularly when emerging from a train or underground station or anywhere where they might suddenly decide to take out and use their phone.
“Smartphones and IPads are very valuable to these criminals and they can snatch them in an instant.”
Police Say Britain Now a Global Capital for Acid Attacks https://t.co/EYmD6PBTM0
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 8, 2017
The rise comes among other forms of violent motorbike-orientated crime, including the surge of acid attacks in the capital, which has left London being labelled the ‘global capital’ for acid attacks.
Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Kearton, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead on acid attacks said of the rise in 2017: “The UK now has one of the highest rates of recorded acid and corrosive substance attacks per capita in the world and this number appears to be rising”. Breitbart London reported at the time there was an average of two acid attacks a day, leading a Labour member of Parliament to acknowledge that the city had “the highest rate of attacks per capita”.