Beware of phone thieves on mopeds and bikes
Beware of phone thieves on mopeds and bicycles - that’s the message from Hackney Council and the police as figures show nearly 50 phones a day are being snatched from pedestrians in the borough as the crime continues to rise across the capital.
Criminals, typically working in pairs on stolen mopeds, are cruising the borough to target people using their mobile phones in public places.
They will often mount pavements to make their snatch, putting both the victim and passers-by in significant danger.
Figures show Hoxton and Shoreditch are particular hotspots for the crime. However, people are being urged to be vigilant across the borough at all times, particularly at bus stops, near train stations, outside pubs and clubs, and when wearing headphones.
This crime is on the rise across London generally, and in Hackney, we’re seeing up to 48 thefts a day – or two an hour – by criminals on both mopeds and bicycles. Victims can be left shaken by the experience on top of suffering the inconvenience of losing a valuable possession.
I’m urging everyone to be alert when using their phone on the street to help protect yourself against those who want to take what doesn’t belong to them.
I also have a clear message for the perpetrators: beware, we – the Council and police - are on to you and when caught, you will face the full force of the law. Robbery can lead to life imprisonment.
To help keep yourself safe from thieves on bikes and mopeds, Police Constable Stephen Poet from the Metropolitan Police offers this advice:
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Go hands-free to make a call
- Be discreet when using your phone out and about, or put it out of sight
- The edge of the road is thieves’ favourite spot so be extra vigilant at the curb side, at a bus stop or outside a train station
- Try not to text or use apps while walking along, you’ll be less aware of what’s going on around you
- If you have to use your phone stand away from the roadside, close to a building or wall
- Try using your phone in the hand closest to the wall so it’s harder to take out of your hand.
The Council’s 24-hour CCTV team works with the police to deter theft committed by people on bikes and mopeds, resulting in a number of arrests. Council wardens are also offering safety advice to people when out and about.
Find out more about crime and safety.