|Man Arrested After 'Tactical Contact' in Richmond Park Area|
Armed officers deployed after more bike robberies in Roehampton
The police have confirmed that a man was arrested this Tuesday (12 October) in Richmond Park after what was described as a tactical contact.
Officers from Operation Venice, which was set up to tackle robbery, had been deployed in the park and surrounding areas after a spate of muggings.
While on patrol they engaged and pursued a male who was arrested and taken into custody. The motorbike was confirmed as having been stolen.
The police are not at this point linking this arrest with a robbery that took place on Roehampton High Street the previous day shortly after 5pm in which a man in his thirties was assaulted by two males and had his bike stolen. One of the assailants was reported to have a machete as has been described in previous incidents recently in the area. Armed officers were called to the scene as part of the police response.
The victim was taken was taken to hospital as a precaution after he fell from his bike when pushed but he was not seriously injured. Any witnesses are asked to call police on 101 and quote ref CAD 5688/11Oct.
Police are also investigating a report that a man in his fifties was pushed from his bike in Roehampton Lane at around the same time. He was approached by two men on a moped. No injuries were reported.
This was the latest in a series of similar offences in the vicinity of Richmond Park and officers are urging cyclists to be vigilant.
Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, responsible for local policing in south-west London, said, "Many people in the area would have seen these reports on social media and will understandably be concerned. I can reassure you that we are doing everything we can to track down those responsible for these terrible crimes.
"Everyone should be able to feel safe when using Richmond Park and that's why I have arranged for additional officers to be in the area over the comings days. They will work alongside our dedicated Royal Parks officers and I would encourage anyone with concerns to approach them, or to call 999 in an emergency."
At around 7pm on Wednesday, 6 October, a man in his thirties reported having his Cannondale bike stolen on Sawyers Hill by two men riding electric scooters. They pushed his from the bike, causing minor injuries before making off towards Richmond Gate.
At 4.01pm on Thursday, 7 October, police were called to reports of a robbery near to the Roehampton Gate entrance. A man in his thirties was approached by four men travelling on two mopeds who pushed him from his bike, causing minor injuries. They threatened him with a machete before taking the bike and riding away from the area. The bike belonged to a professional cyclist and is reportedly valued at £10,000.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 giving the reference 5103/07OCT.
Detective Inspector Gavin Collins, from Operation Venice, the Met's response to moped enabled crime, said: "These incidents would have been incredibly frightening for those involved and I would like to reassure the victims and the public that we are doing everything we can to track down these dangerous individuals.
"I would ask anyone who was in or around the park at the time of any of the incidents to check for any dashcam or cycle helmet footage. This could be key to helping us track down those responsible".
The Met have declined to confirm reports that suspects have been spotted on two occasions in the McDonalds on Putney High Street although locally police officers have been requesting CCTV from businesses in the area.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111.
October 20, 2021