Highgate Lib-Dem councillor Liz Morris: ‘It feels as if London has become the Wild West’

PUBLISHED: 10:52 30 November 2017

Highgate Liberal-Democrat councillor Liz Morris has written to the Mayor of London following a spate of moped enabled attacks in the area. Picture: ARCHANT

Highgate Liberal-Democrat councillor Liz Morris has written to the Mayor of London following a spate of moped enabled attacks in the area. Picture: ARCHANT


Highgate’s Liberal-Democrat councillor Liz Morris has written to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan ahead of a public meeting with the Met following a spate of moped enabled attacks. Here we print the full text of her letter. The public meeting with police takes place at the Royal British Legion, Muswell Hill Rd, N10 3NG on Tuesday, December 5 from 7-9.30pm.

Thieves on moped used hammers to smash window of Gails bakery and rob customers in an attack earlier this month.Thieves on moped used hammers to smash window of Gails bakery and rob customers in an attack earlier this month.

Dear Sadiq Khan

There has been a significant increase in moped crime in North London and I am writing in particular about the boroughs of Haringey, Camden and Islington where there has been a huge rise in phone and handbag snatches by moped gangs.

More worrying is that the gangs have stepped up the level of violence, with the use of hammers, and innocent people are getting seriously hurt.

At 2.45pm on Monday, November 6 we had an attack at Gail’s bakery on Highgate High Street where a moped gang smashed the windows with a hammer, creating absolute terror inside, and took off with a computer.

I can report that a mother who was inside Gail’s during the attack has had to have her gall bladder removed following a trauma to her abdomen when she dived to the ground to protect herself (and her young son?) from the gang.

A few weeks earlier a woman had her handbag snatched in Highgate where she was violently pushed to the ground and dragged along the pavement. She suffered 3 broken ribs, and a broken hand, and has been signed off work for several weeks. As well as the physical trauma there is the huge mental trauma that victims suffer following an attack.

I have had numerous reports from residents of moped gangs targeting the newly pedestrianised area in front of Archway Station which is now a well-known crime hotspot. On Tuesday 14 November at 11.30pm there were groups of mopeds driving round the new square at Archway terrorising the public, yet there was not a policemen in sight despite all the recent attacks there.

So I am writing to ask you, as the Mayor of London, what you are doing to tackle moped crime because it feels as if London has become the “Wild West” where members of the public are no longer safe from these gangs, at any time of the day. My questions to you are:

 Is there enough coordination and cooperation between the different borough police teams in London?

 Are the Transport Police being called on support the police outside tube stations which have become crime hotspots?

 How will you increase the tagging of motorbikes so that stolen bikes can be tracked and picked up so they are not used by the gangs?

 Do we need more CCTV cameras – we have none in Highgate?

 What resources will you be investing so that Londoners are safe from moped crime?

 Why are you closing police counters and stations when they could be utilised to tackle this problem?

 What more can you do as our mayor to tackle this problem?

Following the spate of attacks in Highgate I called a meeting of the Camden and Haringey Safer Neighbourhood Teams who have now agreed to coordinate their patrolling of Highgate (Highgate is split between the two boroughs) to ensure more regular patrolling.

I have called for CCTV cameras in Highgate as we are the only ward in Haringey and Camden without CCTV. I have contacted the four Highgate schools to warn them about the increase in moped crime and given them details of Haringey’s Safer Neighbourhood schools liaison person who can talk to pupils about safety. We also have a Traders meeting this week to discuss what they can do to make their businesses safer.

However this is just one small community in London trying to tackle a London-wide issue which needs a London-wide approach - as we know gangs cross borough boundaries to steal mopeds and commit their crimes.

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