Police in Richmond will be using a unique tactic to snare scooter thieves as part of a borough wide crackdown on moped enabled crime.

A ‘decoy scooter’ will be left unattended at various locations in Richmond in an effort to catch the culprits red-handed.

The move is part of an ongoing operation, which includes tackling crimes committed on stolen scooters.

Richmond Borough commander Parm Sandhu acknowledged there has been a “high level” of this type of crime recently.

She said: “My intention is to send a strong message to these offenders that the borough of Richmond has officers watching every moped on the borough, ready to arrest anyone should they attempt to steal the vehicle.”

Along with the decoy scooters, there will be “high visibility patrols in theft hot spot areas” across the borough.

Commander Parm added: “Officers have been trying to promote vigilance around scooter bays and ask that if anyone sees scooters being tampered with or being loaded into the back of a van to call 999 immediately.

“We are also engaging with riders and highlighting the importance of securing their vehicles to the ground anchors.

“It is with the assistance of the public that we will challenge these criminals and protect scooters from being stolen.

“I’d also encourage the public to help us make our streets and public spaces safer by reporting sightings of scooter misuse.

“This can be done anonymously using Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or directly through us on 101.”