Moped-riding muggers are targeting cyclists around Regent's Park - and the group that runs it was accused of "hiding".

Robberies - with some focusing on high-value bikes - have been happening around Regent's Park, Kentish Town and Archway, since last September, the Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill Safer Parks Panel heard.

Sean Epstein, a member of the Regents Park Cyclists Group, told the panel's annual meeting on January 26 that members of the 5,000-strong group had been attacked.

"A moped or a scooter pulls up next to a cyclist while they are riding, pushes them to the ground, and once the victim has crashed they threaten them and take their bike or their wallet or phone or both," he said.

"There are usually two people on the moped, they get back on the moped and they're off."

He said the Metropolitan Police was dealing with the problem "on a high level" but robberies had not stopped.

Panel chair Justin McKie said moped muggings were the "bigger issue" since the autumn and was occurring beyond the Outer Circle.

He said: "Our community, Sean's community has been dramatically affected by people turning up on mopeds with the threat of violence or actual violence.

"People have been losing expensive bikes." 

He and others seemed exasperated with Royal Parks, which manages the parks, saying the issues the panel had raised for many years were "falling on deaf ears."

Only one officer from Royal Parks was at the meeting but did not comment.

Justin added: "This panel is focused on reducing crime in the park and we are toothless if Royal Parks don't engage with us but they are hiding, I know they are hiding."

He told police officers present that for people feeling unsafe, extra morning patrols on the Outer Circle would be "very helpful".

A spokesperson for The Royal Parks said: “The Royal Parks works closely with the Metropolitan Police service to ensure the safety of all visitors.

“The police are responsible for enforcing the law. If visitors see a crime being permitted, they should report it to the police immediately by calling 999 if it is an emergency, or 101.”