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Machete-wielding moped gang attacks cyclists in Richmond Park, London

The Independent logo The Independent 12/10/2021 Matt Mathers
Mist in Richmond Park, London on September 16, 2021 - PA © PA

Mist in Richmond Park, London on September 16, 2021

- PA

A machete-wielding gang is targeting cyclists as they ride through London’s Richmond Park and nearby areas.

Officers were called to reports that a rider had been attacked on Roehampton High Street in the borough of Wandsworth at 5.09pm on Monday.

The suspects, one of whom was reportedly armed with a machete, then made off with the victim’s bike.

The victim was taken to hospital as a precaution but was not seriously injured.

It came days after Alexandar Richardson, a professional racer for Alpecin-Fenix, had his bike stolen by a machete-wiedling gang riding scooters in Richmond Park on Friday 7 October.

Writing about his ordeal on Instagram Mr Richardson, 31, said: “I knew exactly they wanted to take my bike and started to think what the best thing I could do was.”

Mr Richard said his bike was worth more than £10,000.

“I turned around at East Sheen roundabout and started riding full speed to the cafe about 500 metres away. They simply rode one of the motor bikes into me at 60 kph,” he said.

Mr Richardson fell over but managed to hold onto his bike but then he described being dragged “along the floor for another 100 metres” by the second motorcycle.

He suffered cuts and grazes in the attack. The attackers have not been found.

One of the assailants, who were wearing balaclavas, then “pulled out a 15 inch machete at which point I thought better and let the bike go”, Mr Richardson said.

Speaking to The Independent after the attack, Mr Richardson said he wouldn’t let the incident phase him but would be more wary about going out on long training rides alone in the area.

“The probability of something like this happening again are quite high, so if I go into Richmond Park it would probably be with other people,” he added.

He warned fellow cyclists about the danger in a post on Friday morning: “Please be careful in the area and note this is becoming a common occurrence in parts of London.”

At least two other attacks have also been reported.

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”.

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