04:45 GMT27 February 2021
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    Crimes committed by people riding mopeds on London's streets have increased in the last three years fuelled by police cuts, gang violence and a surge in value of smartphones.

    The number of moped related attacks or robberies shot up to 23,000 in 2017, up from 827 in 2012, with comedian Michael McIntyre becoming a recent high profile victim of the crime after his Range Rover car windows were smashed and his Rolex watch stolen.

    "The victim was stationary in his car when two males on a moped smashed the car windows with a hammer before stealing property. No injuries were reported. No arrests have been made. Enquires continue," a statement from London's Metropolitan Police said.

    ​​​READ MORE: Manhunt for Callous Robbers Who Killed a Father for His Rolex Watch

    James Treadwell, Professor in Criminology at Staffordshire University suggests the "staggering rise" in moped related crime is due to a complex range of socio and economic issues along with the ease in which robbers can mount a curb to snatch a handbag or smartphone from pedestrians.

     "There is a growing market for stolen mobile phones and mopeds," Professor Treadwell writes in The Conversation, suggesting demand for batteries and screen to be used as parts makes them worth stealing.

    READ MORE: UK Police Using Chemical Spray to 'Tag' Moped Criminals in London

    Police in London deploy chemical spray with its own unique chemical code to tag suspects on whilst riding their bikes along with a remote controlled device which bursts the tires.

    ​Technology is also being used by offers on the front line who are tasked with combating moped crime. Two constables working in north London carry tablet computers which pinpoint crime hotspots and enable the officers to record crimes in real time on the police intelligence system.

    READ MORE: UK Acid Attacks: Hidden From View & on the Rise


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    scooter, moped, crime, robbery, United Kingdom, London
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