A moped gang attacked and mugged a London paramedic as she rushed to help an elderly patient in what is just the latest incident in a growing crime trend for the capital. Katherine McKenna, 32, was responding to an emergency call about a pensioner who had fallen down some stairs when she was targeted in the West End.
Three muggers on two moped mounted a crowded pavement in Store Street and snatched her phone. The suspects were all wearing helmets with black visors and have yet to be arrested or identified. McKenna said: "I was really shocked. I could not believe that it happened and I was angry I couldn't respond to the patient who needed my help."
She was not hurt in the attack, which happened at 6.15pm on 25 July, but said as a paramedic she has treated many victims who have been seriously injured by moped muggers.
She said: "Sadly this type of attack is common. They are hurting people; they are putting other people in danger on the roads and pavements but they are also a danger to themselves.
"I have been called out to, and treated, youths who have had accidents on their mopeds."
Figures released by the Met Police earlier this year showed there were 9,029 crimes where the suspect was riding a moped or motorcycle – a 750% increase on 2014's total of 1,053. Police face difficulties pursuing suspects on the back of mopeds due in part to strict guidelines on when they can engage in vehicle pursuits in busy city streets.
Paul Cook, operations general manager at London Ambulance Service, said: "It is appalling for a paramedic to be targeted while on duty and we will work with the police to identify and prosecute those who did this. Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers or 101."
It comes after last month another London paramedic was taken to hospital after having a "noxious substance" thrown at her by masked men as she responded to a 999 call in Tottenham.