Police crackdown on moped thefts following successful Camden pilot

Police are cracking down on moped theft. Picture: Met Police/PA Archive

Police are cracking down on moped theft. Picture: Met Police/PA Archive - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police across London joined forces today to crackdown on moped thefts.

The joint day of action and extension of the ongoing Operation Venice built on the success of a previous tri-borough pilot launched in August 2014 in Westminster, Islington and Camden.

The operation aims to crack on thefts of scooters and mopeds, as many stolen two-wheeled vehicles are used by criminals to commit robberies and other crime.

Under the pilot, Westminster and Camden both more than halved their monthly motorcycle offences, with reductions of 58 per cent and 51 per cent respectively, and in Islington crimes reduced by a third.

In order, the boroughs with the highest number of these offences are Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Southwark, Camden, Lambeth, and Westminster.

Yesterday, both the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police conducted targeted operations across the capital, including mass checks on parked up mopeds, raids on those suspected of stealing motorbikes or using them to commit crime, high visibility patrols in key hot spots, Automatic Number Place Recognition (APNR) checks, and giving free locks to owners.

Officers also handed out leaflets and spoke to owners to encourage them to consider additional measures to secure their mopeds and scooters.

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There has been a significant rise in criminals turning to mopeds for use in committing crime. In the last 12 months, there were in excess of 9,900 moped, scooter and motorcycle thefts reported across London, which equates to 27 stolen mopeds every single day.

Det Supt Raffaele D’Orsi who leads Operation Venice said: “We are committed to taking every opportunity to divert, disrupt, detect and prosecute those involved in moped, scooter and motorcycle related criminality.

“This robust and collaborative response will ensure more offenders are brought to justice.”

Det Ch Insp Clinton Blackburn from City of London Police added: “Motorcycles and mopeds stolen are being used to commit crimes including mobile phone snatches, smash and grabs as well as robberies.

“Working with partners as well as owners of motorbikes and mopeds we can reduce these crimes and bring the criminals to justice. I would urge anyone that sees someone acting suspiciously around these vehicles to call police immediately on 999.”