Thieves on e-scooters and bicycles stole 1,800 devices in London last year | British News

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 06/11/2021: A police officer writes in his notebook after stopping an electric scooter driver on Charing Cross Road in London. Electric scooters are now available for hire in some London boroughs. This is the only way to legally ride an e-scooter on public roads or other public places in London. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

As the number of users of e-scooters and electric bicycles has increased, so has the number of crimes associated with these vehicles (Image: Getty Images)

The number of device thefts by electric bike and e-scooter riders has nearly tripled in London in a year, new figures show.

In 2022, thieves stole 108,900 electronic devices, including nearly 90,000 mobile phones, from people in the capital.

That total represents an increase of nearly 40% – and means nearly 300 were stolen by townspeople and visitors every day.

And as the number of electric bikes and e-scooters on the streets increases, so does the number of criminals using them to their advantage.

Freedom of information requests commissioned by insurance company Direct Line found that electric bikes were used in 1,397 device thefts last year.

Of these, 424 were also committed by e-scooter drivers, meaning that the number of thefts by drivers of the two vehicles increased by 185% in 2022.

However, the real number is likely to be higher, as some victims do not report incidents to the police.

Statistics provided by Scotland Yard and the City of London Police also show that the number of thefts involving knives and other weapons has skyrocketed.

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In 2021 there were 2,341 such incidents, but last year that number increased by 6% to 2,480.

Even more people were injured by armed thieves, 180 were recorded in the statistics.

E-scooters can only be legally used on UK roads if rented as part of a government-sponsored testing scheme.

In London, these programs are currently running in ten boroughs:

  • Camden
  • London
  • ealing
  • Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Lambeth (just north of the district)
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Westminster

The Metropolitan Police are advising people not to text while walking and to limit the use of their phones on the street to limit opportunities for criminals.

Last month it was revealed that a phone was stolen by thieves in London every six minutes, of which only 2% were recovered.

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Justin Scaccy

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