Police report spike in Square Mile sex attacks


Sexual assaults in the Square Mile have spiked according to a City of London Police update, with double the number of incidents reported to police in June when compared with May.

The report, which will be presented to the Corporation’s Safer City Partnership Strategy Group this week, showed 10 incidents of rape and other sexual offences in June, the highest number in a single month all year.

The figures reflect an overall increase in victim-based violence compared to the previous quarter and compared to the same reporting period in 2016.

The highest noticeable increase was of 18 offences (24%) from May to June this year, though this is attributed in part to the seven attempted murder crimes raised as a result of the London Bridge terror attacks.

City Police are in the process of developing a ‘problem profile’ on what they call “an area of concern” for the City, which will include an in-depth look at the incidents reported in June to identify links or trends, and whether any of the incidents could have been prevented.

The report flagged mobile phone muggers on mopeds as another area of concern and a key driver in the 23% increase in acquisitive crime in April to June this year when compared with the same period last year. Opportunistic thieves are now more likely to be using mopeds, rather than push bikes as they did early in the year, as a quicker way to get close to the victim and then leave the scene without detection.

Offenders have stolen a large number of mopeds from Minories and Goodman’s Yard, according to the report, which also suggests a media campaign encouraging people to keep their phones out of sight while in public to combat the thefts.

Last year the force began publishing CCTV footage of phone and bag snatchers online to illustrate how quickly offenders can strike, and how the public can protect their belongings.

“People are using their phone unaware of their surroundings, giving offenders on mopeds or bicycles the opportunity to snatch phones – sometimes using force to knock the phone out of the victim’s hands or assaulting the victim to take it,” said DI Mark Chapman.

“I would urge people to consider using a hands-free device to make a call, not to text or use apps by the roadside, and to always plan their journey home.

“As well as having expensive phones stolen with all the inconveniences involved, the personal information contained on the phone may put people at risk of identity theft.”