Getting mugged in London town
Two weeks ago, I was walking to bond station after finishing a work meeting in Regent Street, I was dragging a camera and tripod holding my phone in my hand while crossing the street I decided to put my phone in my pocket simply for a minute to not slip from my hands and break when someone came up from behind and stole it in this exact moment there, most likely this person was watching me this whole time, something also the police presumed when I went to report what happened the day after. They highlighted the patterns of how pocket pickers use the same methods for phone and wallet robberies and how they wait to do it in traffic lights or right in front of tube stations. My first reaction when I felt someone’s hand in my pocket and then running away in less than 10 seconds was to shout at him, but as I looked at him running I decided against it as he was a big person, but I couldn’t see him or her face. I suddenly panicked. What if this person stabbed me or threw acid in my face? I felt offended. People had stopped to watch.
Yet, not a single person approached to see if I were OK. I was in shock, shaking scared and alone. I thought this is something that would never happen to me in London, where there is about one CCTV camera to every 14 people, I felt helpless in a different way. These kinds of street muggings have been increasing steadily while moped crime has risen 30-fold over the past five years Met statistics showed 56,680 mobiles were reported stolen in London between April and September last year.
28,800 of were iPhones. Police also confirmed that young professionals out and about in the capital at entertainment spots or other public places were most likely to be victims of street robberies
Thefts and robberies on London’s many shopping lanes have expanded six-fold over the last two years. Met Police, data show Oxford Street is the worst hit with 291 offences in one single year, going up from 13 in 2014-15
A lot of criminology experts shared their opinion regarding the matter saying moped-enabled theft is the “crime of the moment” as it is “ridiculously easy” to do.
Oxford, Regent and Bond Street combined have 200 million visitors a year so thieves get tempted by the people shopping in Oxford Street mostly tourists as there are plenty of rich pickings to choose from Regent Street saw the number of thefts jump from three to 91 between 2015 and 2017, while Bond Street went from one to 14.
King’s Cross St Pancras has also developed as the most noticeably awful Tube station for pickpocketing in figures which demonstrate that travelers in London have endured almost 4,000 robberies in a year. The statistics that I got from the Met under the Freedom of Information Act, show 215 pickpocketing crimes at the station between the beginning of February 2015 and the end of January this year. Other seriously influenced stations are Victoria, Liverpool Street and Stratford — which each observed in excess of 100 robberies amid the period — trailed by Bank/Monument, Leicester Square and Holborn. The figures additionally uncover that most pickpocket-tormented line was the Central line, where there were 632 events on which travelers had things stolen during the year. The total number of robberies at Tube stations was 3,926, a normal of 275 crimes for each month. When I visited the Police for a proper report they mentioned that due to high number of stolen phone reports that they get daily it might be a bit difficult to guarantee finding items, one of the officers said that they are developing tactics to tackle the crime surge, such as using remote controlled spikes to puncture suspects’ tires. He then added “Offenders rely on the unwariness of the public to snatch their phones while they make calls so it is important to be aware at all times, particularly when emerging from a train or underground station also keep your valuables out of sight and definitely remember to zip up bags and backpacks and carry bags in front of you” So clearly it is an issue that is gaining out of power yet it is extremely essential for any person who encountered this to report regardless of whether it is uncommon for the police to find your stolen item particularly telephones, not informing the police of a crime that happened to you is much more terrible for any victim.