What is moped crime?
Moped crime usually refers to crime committed on stolen mopeds and scooters.
The popularity of food delivery services, such as Deliveroo, Just Eat & Others have been blamed for a general increase in mopeds on the roads, which in turn allows moped thieves to complete the first stage of the operation: Easily blending in amongst the general population, Scanning and looking for their target without any suspicion.
Typically, thieves can be seen riding with two people per moped, looking specifically for valuables. When the driver sees a pedestrian on their phone or wearing what looks like an expensive item of jewelry, they will start stage 2 of the operation; swerving towards the pavement or target, Allowing the pillion passenger to grab the bag, wallet, phone, or watch, for example. Often snatching and escaping the scene within 30 seconds. It is very quick for an unsuspecting victim, who may be engrossed in their conversation or day to day routine.
In general, the public have become increasingly unaware of their surroundings, making us all easy targets. but victims can just as easily be sitting in a queue of traffic or at a red traffic light.
However, thieves Despite their choice of career are often highly driven and determined individuals. This means they will do anything legal or illegal to continue their operations.
Police records & information are easily available to the public, allowing thieves to remotely access resources which can aid their getaway. For example, thieves are now aware that for health and safety reasons police cannot aggressively chase those on mopeds that are not wearing a helmet, this is a health and safety loophole they know they can exploit. Employing police health & safety restrictions to aid the getaway of a scooter or moped allows thieves to easily escape without charge and incentive enough to offend again.
What can you do?
Often If a crime in progress is lasting too long the moped thieves will begin to panic and move onto another target, for them speed is key and any second you delay the thieves will assist both police and civilians around in the capture of the suspected individuals.
As the vehicles the thieves are operating will be greatly limited in speed & power. They will often not chase you if you are able to safely maneuverer into a highly public area.
Here is some advice to follow to help prevent you crossing paths with those committing moped crime. You should always try to avoid using your phone when walking about on the street but if it is not feasible:
- Keep conversations brief, don’t discuss serious matters which take a lot of your attention.
- Do not walk near the roadside whilst using your phone in public
- If you must walk near the roadside, or in an unprotected area be sure to always keep a firm Grip on your phone or bag.
- If messaging from your phone, try to look around for mopeds before stopping to send a message; try not to text and walk in busy areas.
- Using a Bluetooth device that allows you to talk hands free will keep your phone out of view
- If in your car, ensure your vehicle is locked while driving. keeping your handbag, phone, or wallet out of view and away from windows.
What are the police doing?
New tactics introduced by the Metropolitan Police Service have helped to drive a sharp fall in moped-related crime in London.
In April 2017 there were 1,512 thefts of scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles, according to the Met’s official data, which compares crime in the 12 months from April-March 2017/18 with the same period a year earlier.
In the month of March 2018, the number of scooters, mopeds and motorbikes stolen in London fell to 756 – a 50 per cent reduction.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan highlighted the fall on Good Morning Britain in an interview with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid and explained how the Met Police has introduced new tactics, including using light-weight police motorbikes and remote-control tyre deflation devices, to take on criminals.
Officers also began using DNA spray, which tags riders’ bikes, skin and clothing with an invisible forensic marker which is revealed under a special light, allowing police to identify offenders.