Wild West London: Sixty moped attacks a day and drug crime on the rise

Wild West London: Sixty moped attacks a day, a woman fights for life after mugging and drug crime on the rise as cops hunt for Michael McIntyre gang

  • Britain is in the grip of a crime wave as thugs run riot on mopeds and motorbikes
  • In central London a moped gang stormed a luxury jewellers on Tuesday 
  • In Birmingham, thugs burst from stolen BMW and attacked a car with machetes
  • Michael McIntyre was subject to a moped gang robbing him of his £15k watch 

Britain is in the grip of a violent crime wave as thugs run riot on mopeds and motorbikes.

Shocking figures released yesterday show the armed thieves are striking more than 60 times every day.

In a chilling illustration of the crisis, a young woman was fighting for her life last night after her mobile was snatched by moped-riding thieves. And a motorcycle gang targeted yet another luxury store in London yesterday.

Campaigners and politicians warned the attacks were matched by disturbing rises in stabbings, drug crime and gang violence.

London now has a higher murder rate than New York, with more than 70 killings so far this year. Knife crime has also led to the deaths of a 17-year-old boy in Ipswich and of 15-year-olds in Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

Britain is in the grip of a violent crime wave as thugs run riot on mopeds and motorbikes. Pictured: Scene of thugs breaking into a jewellers in central London on Tuesday  

As an MP said parts of the country were becoming ‘like the Wild West’:

  • Scotland Yard has logged 22,025 motorcycle muggings in 12 months – a rise of 50 per cent;
  • Officers revealed that city gangs had set up 650 ‘county line’ networks to sell drugs in towns and villages;
  • Police were hunting moped robbers who targeted comedian Michael McIntyre;
  • A rank-and-file police leader said officers were wary of chasing them for fear of possible disciplinary action;
  • A think-tank said shop theft cost £6.3billion last year – or £270 for every household.

Violent crime soared by 21 per cent last year, with 1.3million offences recorded by police. The figure was the highest since records began in their current form 15 years ago.

Knife crime rose by 22 per cent, robberies by a third and sex attacks were up by a quarter as police recorded 5.4million offences, 13 per cent up on the previous year.

‘It is alarming that violent crime in England is rising so fast,’ said Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman. ‘People are telling me they no longer feel safe in their own communities.

‘For some areas it’s fast becoming like the Wild West with criminals no longer afraid of getting caught. The blame rests squarely at the feet of this Government. Theresa May was responsible for slashing police budgets and even now she appears to be resisting calls for extra spending on police.’

The robbers used hammers to destroy the driver’s window and demanded his silver watch, worth around £15,000

David Green, of the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘A fall in police numbers combined with increasingly violent drug gangs has meant some parts of our cities resemble TV’s The Wire. Violent crime is rising and knife crime is rising as gangs fight over drug territories.’

Experts believe a booming illicit drugs market – notably in crack cocaine – is fuelling much of the violence. They have also highlighted the middle-class appetite for regular cocaine.

The Metropolitan Police figures showed that crimes committed using mopeds, scooters and motorcycles soared by 50 per cent in the year to May, to 22,025.

The 24-year-old who is fighting for her life was attacked by two thugs on a moped in Edgware, north London, just after 9pm on Monday. She suffered a head injury and was found unconscious on the ground.

McIntyre was also targeted in north London, while picking his son up from school on Monday. The moped muggers made off with his watch and are thought to have been watching his movements.

Horrifying footage has captured the moment a masked thug wielding a machete (pictured) tried to smash a motorist’s window in Birmingham 

A silver BMW repeatedly collides with the car and rams it into a parked vehicle in the congested residential street in Handsworth, Birmingham

Rory Geoghegan, of the Centre for Social Justice, called on frontline police to get a grip. The think-tank published a report today highlighting how heroin, crack cocaine and synthetic drugs drive shop thefts.

‘Our criminal justice system is in desperate need of a fix,’ he said.

The Police Federation called for the bringing forward of legislation to protect police from claims if they pursue crooks.

Sergeant Tim Rogers said many officers still feared being charged with careless or reckless driving.


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Central London: Moped robbers in raid on West End watch shop 

Shoppers wrestled a knife-wielding moped robber to the ground during a ram raid at a luxury jeweller yesterday.

The masked thug was pinned to the ground until police arrived at Watches of Switzerland in the West End of London.

CCTV footage shows the gang wielding knives and hammers as they attempt to fend off members of the public. Three thugs could be seen running out of the watch shop and jumping on to mopeds as another fled on foot and the fifth was caught.

A sledgehammer is shown lodged in the glass of a Rolex display cabinet at Watches of Switzerland on Regent Street

A large knife is seen lying on the pavement outside Watches of Switzerland in Regent Street, London following today’s raid

They are believed to have made off with watches worth tens of thousands of pounds. They left a sledgehammer embedded in a Rolex display cabinet.

A red scooter was abandoned inside the doors to the store and a second motorcycle was left in the street. Both are thought to have been stolen. A short distance away a large knife and a glove were left on the pavement. It was the third attack on the firm’s central London stores in just three months.

One witness said: ‘Staff on the doors of shops very swiftly got people in from the street. Some of the public managed to wrestle the guys to the ground.’

Police said one suspect was in custody.

North London: Were bike muggers waiting to target McIntyre? 

Michael McIntyre may have been watched by the motorcycle thieves who stole his Rolex in a hammer attack.

Police suspect the masked attackers may have followed the comedian after he left his £5.7million home in Hampstead, north London. 

They believe the offenders are a ‘cut above’ the smash-and-grab moped gangs causing misery across the capital.

Pictures taken shortly after the attack show the driver’s side window smashed and damage to Mr McIntyre’s door

Pictures show stunned comic Michael McIntyre speaking with police moments after he was robbed by a moped gang

Investigators are trying to piece together witness accounts, CCTV footage and other clues in a bid to identify the culprits.

McIntyre, 42, was the victim of a 30-second attack in which the men smashed the windows of his Range Rover and stole his watch. He had just picked up his ten-year-old son Oscar from school when the attackers struck on Monday afternoon. Photographs showed him comforting the child as onlookers gathered around to check they were not injured.

Last night, the multi-millionaire insisted he was ‘fine’ and would still take the stage in Dublin tomorrow night as part of his Big World Tour.

A serious looking Kitty McIntyre, wife of Michael McIntyre, was photographed leaving the family home in North London this morning and said her husband is ‘fine’

Speaking outside his home, McIntyre said: ‘I can’t really say what’s happening, we’re in the process of sorting this out. There’s been an incident and we’re dealing with it. I need to find out the best thing to do here, I can’t say anything. This is not a wind up, it’s ongoing and I can’t share the details.’ Earlier, his wife Kitty, also 42, an aromatherapist, said: ‘He is fine.’ Asked if the couple were concerned about the family’s safety, she replied: ‘No.’

More than 24 hours after the attack, more details emerged of how McIntyre fell out of his car as he tried to fight off the robbers. It appears he was targeted while he waited outside the school for second son Lucas, 13.

One witness said: ‘The guy at the front of the moped started to hit the driver’s window about ten to 15 times and it eventually cracked. He opens the door and gets Michael out of the car. He fell but he was still trying to put up a fight.

‘And then within seconds they were gone down the hill. It was all so quick – the whole thing must have taken 30 seconds.’

Another resident added: ‘It seemed as if Michael was their target – there are a lot of celebrities in this area and the parents of the schools have been targeted in the past.’

Birmingham: Masked gang in attack on car

This horrifying footage shows the moment a masked gang rammed a car in broad daylight before smashing the driver’s window with a machete and hammer.

A balaclava-clad male is seen repeatedly attacking the Toyota Yaris which has been blocked in by a BMW on a residential street.

Another man then appears to launch a hammer (pictured) at the car windscreen before fleeing with his accomplice

The silver BMW then repeatedly smashes into the Toyota, pushing it back into parked cars with its rear wheels off the ground, as a second masked and armed man runs up from behind. He throws a hammer at the windscreen and appears to ready himself to strike at the Toyota with the machete in his left hand. But the 20-second clip then shows him stop and run away with the other assailant.

The shocking attack happened on Saturday evening in Handsworth, Birmingham. It was captured on the dashcam of another motorist.

The clip has been viewed more than 20,000 times on social media.

It is not known what lay behind the attack.

Police cuts have fuelled crime, says Met chief 

By: Ian Drury Home Affairs Editor For The Daily Mail 

Ministers are naive to think police cuts have not fuelled violent crime in the capital, Britain’s top officer said yesterday.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the Government’s austerity drive was among the reasons for spiralling bloodshed in London.

At least 69 people have already been killed on the streets of the capital in 2018. Giving evidence to the Commons home affairs committee, Miss Dick said reduced numbers of officers had definitely had an impact.

She said: ‘A whole series of social issues will have contributed to the changes and the increases in violent crime.

‘I answered a radio interview in which I said, in effect, of course austerity has probably had something to do with it, by which I mean, of course, the other services as well as the police.

‘But I would be naive to suggest that reduced numbers of officers on the street, for a whole variety of reasons, including – and I’m talking across the country here – reduced officer numbers overall, have had no impact.’

However the Commissioner accepted that, after lobbying the Home Office, Scotland Yard had received more money, which would be ring-fenced to fight gun and knife crime.

Ministers say the overall grant for the country’s 43 police forces has been protected in cash terms in 2018-19 at £12.6billion.

But the Home Office says the police will receive an extra £450million in funding, including £270million if they raise council tax precepts.

In April, the then home secretary Amber Rudd denied a link between police cuts and spiralling violent crime.

She insisted it was a mistake to connect tumbling officer numbers to the spate of deadly shootings, stabbings and acid attacks in recent weeks.

But her successor, Sajid Javid, offered an olive branch to rank-and-file officers following years of sniping over cuts. He sought to end the rows by acknowledging the pressures on officers at a conference in Birmingham.

Police officer numbers have fallen by 21,000 since 2010.

London mayor Sadiq Khan this week repeated his long-standing claim that the Met Police was losing £1billion from its budget.

He told the Guardian: ‘I’m concerned about the unsustainability of policing in London; we’ve lost £730million from the Met police budget and over the next three years we’ll lose £335million. So that’s a billion pounds.’ 


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