The number of robberies on mopeds in Southwark increased by a third last year to two incidents a day, and latest London-wide figures indicate the problem has almost trebled since then.
The rapid explosion of this type of crime has led to calls by residents and local Liberal Democrats for the Mayor of London, the Home Office and Southwark Council to get a grip on the situation and to stop and eventually reverse this dramatic escalation.
At a recent Council meeting, the local Borough Commander Simon Messinger said these crimes are generally locally based, committed by people living in the area either with their own mopeds or those stolen locally. Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, Leader of the Lib Dem Opposition on Southwark Council said:
“Moped-based robberies has rapidly become a major problem over the last couple of years right across London. Given that we know it’s very much a locally-based crime however, there’s clear and practical things that both the Mayor of London and Southwark Council can do to tackle it head on.
‘The Council should install ‘Moped-Hangers’, especially in high-risk areas, to reduce theft. Incentives for local moped dealerships in the borough (through a responsible retailers list and business rate reduction) could be created, to bundle locking devices, immobilisers and tracking technology with sales, and to not accept cash-payments for mopeds, motorbikes or scooters. Current blind-spots in CCTV coverage at moped-crime hot-spots should be filled, and early intervention schemes, focusing on areas where young people are most exposed to moped gangs should be established.
‘The Lib Dems are moving a motion at the next Council Assembly on this, and local residents will be making the case in person to push the Labour-run Council to take this issue with urgency and seriousness it deserves.”