Moped crime in Islington falls by 60 per cent despite ‘ruthless’ phone snatchers

Supt Caroline Haines at the launch of the Met's "Be Safe" Islington campaign. Picture: Lucas Cumiske

Supt Caroline Haines at the launch of the Met's "Be Safe" Islington campaign. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey - Credit: Archant

Moped crime in Islington has fallen by more than 60 per cent compared with this time last year, according to police chiefs.

The Met launched its “Be Safe” Islington campaign yesterday, encouraging people to be aware of their surroundings so their phones don’t get snatched.

The event, which was held outside the Vodafone store in Liverpool Road, saw cops pretending to snatch mobiles from unsuspecting passers-by.

Cons Eddie Stevens was creeping across the pavement, approaching people mid-text, and placing his had over their devices.

“If I was a moped thief your phone would be gone,” he said. “It’s as easy as that. Please be aware of what’s going on around you.”

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Det Supt Caroline Hayes told the Gazette: “We have still got a problem [with moped crime] across London but we have been relentless across Camden and Islington and, so far this year, we have seen a reduction of 60pc in both boroughs.”

She credited a “variety of assets” for this fall, including DNA forensic tagging spray, tyre deflation devices and the “faster” slim-line motorbikes used by cops.

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Moped crooks committed 69.9pc fewer offences on Islington’s streets between January to August this year, compared with the same period in 2017.

Ch Supt Iain Raphael, Islington Borough Commander, said: “Moped criminals are ruthless in their attempts to steal mobile phones.

“They speed up to pedestrians who are using phones and snatch them as they ride past – it happens in an instant and is very distressing for the victim.

“Since July 2017 we have seen a reduction in moped crime which we want to continue. Help us stop these criminals by protecting your phone and ‘Look Up and Look Out’.”

Vodafone is supporting the Met’s campaign in 84 shops across London, providing information on snatch theft and mobile phone security.

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