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‘Concerning trend’ seen in 9 robberies

Similar behaviour: Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police, addresses a “concerning trend” of recent crime (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

A spate of nine robberies involving motorcycles was yesterday branded “a concerning crime trend” by the island’s new Commissioner of Police.

Stephen Corbishley said incidents involving motorbike snatches had rocketed over the past two weeks.

Mr Corbishley appealed for the public to assist and said that he had “absolutely no doubt that somebody in the local community knows who these individuals are”.

Mr Corbishley was speaking hours after a man was robbed of a bracelet at about 1pm around Frog Lane in Devonshire.

Other incidents included an assault and attempted robbery on a 25-year-old woman tourist at Somerset Bridge by a man on foot, which happened about 4pm on Monday.

The victim, who was not seriously injured, escaped and ran to Robinson’s Marina to get help.

Police said the attacker was dark complexioned, about 5ft 8in or 9in and with short dreadlocks.

He was wearing a T-shirt with three-quarter-length shorts.

Several vehicles were said to have passed at the time of the incident and police have appealed for witnesses.

Many incidents have involved two young black men using motorcycles, but Mr Corbishley admitted it was “very difficult to give anything specific”.

He said a group could be involved rather than one specific pair.

The Commissioner said: “Clearly there a pattern of similar behaviour. One of the lines we should look at is that those involved have some connection.

“While there is not any direct evidence for this, we will be looking at certain groups that are under focus for committing these types of crimes.”

He added: “We believe they are young men, and that is why I think their identity is known by certain parties.”

Mr Corbishley added the thieves have tended to target valuables that can be “readily converted to cash”.

Many of the incidents have been in the central or western parishes and Mr Corbishley said that “lends itself to the idea that perhaps this is a group of individuals targeting a particular area”.

He added that nine robberies was “an incredible amount” and called for the public to be vigilant.

He added: “If there are males acting suspiciously on mopeds nearby, just be cautious with personal property.”

Mr Corbishley said: “What we need to be realistic about is that this appears to be isolated incidents — we need to get on top of this quickly.”

He added police officers are using stop and search tactics and the commissioner asked the public to “understand if we need to take that kind of action”.

Mr Corbishley also asked anyone with information to contact Detective Inspector Colin King at the Criminal Investigation Unit at 247-1252 or call the confidential and independent Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-8477.