Editor’s comment: Knife attack on officer is a worrying sign


- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Police fail to show up to a community meeting about tackling moped crime. The reason? One of their officers has just been attacked by moped riders.

If that sounds grimly humorous, it certainly will not have felt that way for the poor policeman who had a knife pulled on him after chasing two cowards through the streets.

Moped-enabled phone snatches – and, increasingly, laptop snatches – are an epidemic across Islington. We have more moped crime than almost any other London borough (only neighbouring Camden has more, and that’s one and a half times the size of Islington).

But while the victims of these snatches are understandably shaken and angry, it is thankfully rare for weapons to be used. The Hutson twins, perhaps Islington’s most high-profile moped-enabled phone thieves, drove dangerously and could certainly have injured someone, but they weren’t armed as they sped through London’s streets and (in Zuriel’s case) the wrong way down the M1 at 90mph.

Threatening someone with a knife is a crap thing to do, whether or not they have a badge. But threatening a police officer is almost sociopathically brazen. Cops are better equipped than the average person to chase and catch you, and you can bet they’ll be delighted to testify in your trial.

So while I’m very relieved the officer wasn’t hurt here, and very grateful for his bravery, I’m also very concerned that someone is currently speeding around on a moped who thought so little of pulling a blade on him.

Whether or not this kind of act becomes commonplace could well depend on how quickly these kids are caught, and how seriously they are dealt with once they are. If you know who they are, you know what to do.