Top cop: all 130 moped crime targets in Camden are from Islington
Top cop reveals phone snatchers earn £1,000 a day
22 September, 2017 — By Tom Foot
Detective Chief Superintendent Catherine Roper: ‘They are 13- to 18-year-olds. Boys. They are stealing up to 10 phones a day. The phones are sold for around £100 each’
ALL 130 target suspects known to police for regularly carrying out mobile phone thefts using mopeds in neighbouring Camden are from Islington, a public meeting has heard.
Detective Chief Superintendent Catherine Roper, who heads the Met’s Central North Command, which covers Islington and Camden, told a meeting in Hampstead last Thursday that Camden had “sadly returned” to the top of the London phone snatch league table.
But she said that none of the 130 targets known to her detectives lived in Camden, adding: “There are no regular repeat offenders we know of and are interested in currently who live in Camden.”
Describing the profiles of the known targets, she said: “They are 13- to 18-year-olds. Boys. They are stealing up to 10 phones a day. The phones are sold for around £100 each. [They can make] up to £1,000 a day.
“That’s more than I am earning. It is a motivating factor. To divert people from that speedy financial game is quite challenging.”
She said police was going into schools – from the first year of primary school – and talking to children about the dangers of this type of crime.
She added that there were “Fagan-type characters” who were “criminally grooming” younger children into moped crime.
“Camden and Islington are the boroughs most featured when you look at the crime statistics,” she said. “We look at where mopeds are being stolen. Generally [it’s a] stolen moped used by an offender, has face covered with a helmet or something. They commit the crime, they dump the moped and they run. That’s the cycle.”
She said that the Met was trialling drones and a new DNA spray to catch moped criminals. It has launched a drive encouraging people not to buy secondhand phones on the black market.
Last month, two young men from Islington who were part of a criminal network which stole mobile phones in a series of shocking smash-and-grab robberies before the devices were shipped to Asia were convicted at Blackfriars Crown Court.
The court heard that hours after each raid the gang would sell the phones to traders in Whitechapel and Hackney. Buyers would send the gang detailed price lists beforehand.