Highgate Hill and Haverstock Hill among London’s worst hit streets for moped crime

A stock image of a moped rider in London. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA

A stock image of a moped rider in London. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Highgate Hill is the worst affected street for moped crime in London, according to Met Police figures.

Between 2012 and 2017, 239 incidents took place on the street, with Belsize Park’s Haverstock Hill seventh worst in London with 132 incidents.

Liberal Democrat crime spokeswoman Cllr Luisa Porritt, of Camden Council’s Belsize ward, said: “We have seen there has been a lot more brazen activity by criminals using mopeds to commit robberies.

“Criminals are aware of a lack of police and are emboldened to act in ways they would not before.”

Of Belsize, she said the wards many cafes and shop make it an attractive target to moped crooks, particularly when people dine alfresco and their devices are within reach of the road.

She said: “The last year to 18 months have required a culture shift on the part of residents who have always felt quite safe before.

“It was often the number one issue on doorsteps when we were campaigning and there is definitely a palpable sense of fear.”

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However, she said that moped robbery activity had actually eased off in Camden compared to last year, with only 373 incidents reported in January. Last year, it peaked in June, when 743 incidents were reported.

Cllr Porritt has pledged to push for more funding for additional police in Camden, particularly specialist trained moped drivers, and to improve youth services to prevent vulnerable young people entering into lives of crime.

She said: “I’ve heard kids can be paid £200 per phone they snatch, therefore it’s difficult to deter young people because that sounds quite attractive to them.

“They are told there is no chance of them getting caught, which is not necessarily true, and I think giving the local police additional resources, along with other measures, would reduce the incentive to be so brazen.”

Quite how Cllr Porritt would achieve this extra funding is unclear, though.

Since 2010, the Met’s budget has been slashed by £600million and a further £400m has to be found by 2021.

In Novermber last year, mayor of London Sadiq Khan was forced to announce the closure of Hornsey and Holborn police stations as part of a drive to save £8m.

Camden Council’s safer communities cabinet member Cllr Nadia Shah said: “We’re working closely with the police and the mayor of London to tackle this and protect our residents.

“This includes adjusting our landscape to deter thieves – making clever use of street furniture to prevent mopeds from mounting footpaths and putting in fixed ground anchors to stop mopeds from being stolen.”