Sadly, you might be aware that violent crime across the UK has risen by around 50%. Moped enabled robberies in London are running at around 430 per week across the Capital with Islington, Camden and Westminster Boroughs suffering most of the reported crimes. The comedian Michael McIntyre was attacked in his car recently too.
We have seen large and small business, pedestrians, other scooter riders and parents dropping off their children at school targeted by this epidemic.
According to the Mayor’s Office, The Metropolitan police will, without extra funding, be left with “one police officer per 326 Londoners, compared to one officer per 242 Londoners in 2010 – a fall of 26%”. The police’s presence and ability to conduct proactivity has been significantly affected. With vast resources understandably focused on Counter Terror policing initiatives, there seems to be a lack of available resources to effectively tackle violent crime, moped gangs or scooter related crime on our streets.
These are our recommendations on how to reduce the likelihood of scooter crime or, of the worst happens, to protect your people and help the police catch the perpetrators:
- Threat Assessment: Have you conducted a threat assessment recently, looking at how likely this is to happen?
- Brief ALL your staff: crimes like this can happen any time of day, so you need to ensure that all your staff are trained. Cleaners and temporary staff are just as likely to be faced with this type of situation.
- Look at your access control systems. Are they fit for purpose and able to be controlled remotely, allowing you to secure the building quickly.
- Do your CCTV cameras provide complete coverage of your site? Alternatively, are your cameras covering the right areas of your building?
- Do your staff know how to access and share CCTV footage with, for example, the police?
- Do your doors have to be unlocked? If not, keep them locked but easy to open when wanted.
- Being a good witness: If something does happen, have you trained your team to be able to look for, and then recall, key information to help the police?
- Physical security: dependent upon your business, is the physical security sufficient?
- Do you have CCTV and is it covering the right places?
- Do you have access control systems that will only let in authorised personnel?
- Are doors locked when they should be and with the right type of lock? Etc.
- Awareness of your surroundings: are you and your team keeping an eye out as you go do and leave work? Do things seem right?
- Number Plates: if you do see mopeds/motorbikes hanging around, are their number plates partially covered or even missing completely?
- Passengers: Passengers on mopeds rarely carry much. Keep an eye out for passengers carrying bulky equipment or bags.
- Safe Zone: is there a Safe Zone within your business? Somewhere for staff and customers to go if there is an attack. The safety of these people is paramount and the rest is insured.
- Public places: if your vehicle is involved in an incident, get to somewhere where there are people around before you stop. Stopping where there is nobody around is a risk and should be avoided where possible.
- Distinguishing features: is there something that makes other vehicles stand out?
- Damage to the vehicle
- The make model and, ideally registration
- Any specific logos or stickers?
- Dashcams: these can be extremely useful in recording what happens to your vehicle so consider getting one. Alternatively, your phone’s camera, but only use it when it is safe to do so and won’t escalate the issue.
These recommendations are designed to reduce the likelihood of scooter crime or, if the worst does happen, to protect your people and to help the police do their jobs. We hope they help.