AN INVESTIGATION by BBC London has revealed that scooter crime involving teenagers has risen by more than 600% in the last two years.
According to figures obtained from the Metropolitan Police, there have been more than 7,688 crimes involving scooters to date in London this year – that’s offences like muggings, phone snatchings, attacks and robberies that are committed with a scooter - one that's likely to be stolen. It works out to a rate of about 22 incidents per day.
There were 4,647 such incidents in 2015 and 1,053 in 2014.
Two years ago, the Met police set up Operation Venice to tackle the problem, although based on these figures, it’s clearly not working. Even so, the Metropolitan Police deny this kind of crime is out of control.
The police have a list of 200 people they suspect of scooter-related crime, with many escaping prosecution because of a lack of evidence. The worst affected boroughs in London are named as Islington, Camden and Hackney.
Superintendent Mark Payne, who runs Operation Venice said: ‘I think it's a huge concern because it is a change in criminal behaviour.
‘The fact of the matter is it's much more difficult to deal with people on mopeds than it was people who were committing those sorts of crimes before on foot or on bicycles.’
The police deny that criminals feel that they can escape because of the policy not to pursue riders who aren’t wearing helmet. They also urge scooter owners to use greater security to protect their bikes.