Rising cases of people being mugged for their expensive watches are damaging London’s international reputation.
On a trip to India this week, Labour’s David Lammy, visiting as shadow foreign secretary to work on trade deals, was confronted by senior executives in the country on their concerns about being mugged in Mayfair.
According to a report in the Financial Times, Devin Narang, an energy entrepreneur, told Mr Lammy: “People are being mugged in the heart of London – in Mayfair.
“All CEOs in India have had an experience of physical mugging and the police not responding,” he added.
Met Police have been targeting gangs who employ spotters to identify people in bars and restaurants who are wearing prized watches from the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille.
The force recently shared details and footage of how victims would then be mugged as they left their premises, usually late at night and often drunk.
Thefts from a person, the police’s term for muggings of handbags, watches and other valuables rose in London by 27% in 2023 from 57,468 to 72,756.
Westminster, which includes Mayfair, was the capital’s hot spot with a 40% rise in attacks from 18,310 in 2022 to 25,650, the Met reports.