The rise of food delivery services has caused a resurgence of scooter transport in London. Consequently, more have been used for crime, with delivery messengers themselves being targeted for the scooter they drive and the cash they carry.
Moped-enabled crime has risen from 827 incidents in 2012 to more than 23,000 in 2017. An Average of 64 per day.
(source: bbc.co.uk, 2018)
More scooters on the road, and an increase in the knife crime rate in London, have led to gangs using these to rob unsuspecting bystanders at knifepoint with the scooter being able to weave through heavy traffic resulting in a quick getaway.
Here are some helpful tips in order to stay safe against moped crime:
- Try to not use your phone while on the move – Larger and more expensive smartphones have become the number one target for moped thieves.
- Listening to music or podcasts while walking reduces spatial awareness and therefore likely to be caught by surprise.
- Spreading out personal belongings across your bag, coat and trouser pocket prevents losing all your belongings in the case of an attempted robbery
- If carrying a laptop, place it in a sports bag – a casual bag is less suspecting than a laptop bag, targetable for the high value items inside. Even covering valuables by holding a coat can help.
- Position yourself wisely – if you’re carrying a bag, it is recommended to carry it to your building-side rather than kerb-side. Furthermore, ensure you’re journey is through well-lit and busy streets.
The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are using both overt and covert tactics in order to tackle the situation. DNA spray bottles allow officers to tag suspects with a fluorescent liquid that lasts for up to eight weeks for identification.
The moped-enabled crime unit also uses remote controlled stingers and maneuverable motorbikes to combat quick getaways that is possible on a moped. The government is also helping in the situation by proposing reformed rules aiming to prevent officers from facing prosecution for dangerous driving in a pursuit.For more information in how to protect yourself in case of an attack visit: www.personalsafetylondon.com.