Jailed: Hackney Road moped robbers rode on pavement and endangered the public trying to escape cops

Alfie Woods (left) and Tommy Rogers

Alfie Woods (left) and Tommy Rogers - Credit: police

Two robbers rammed off their moped by cops within minutes of snatching a mobile phone from a woman in Hackney Road have been jailed.

Tommy Rogers, who was riding with Alfie Woods on pillion, almost collided with a pedestrian as he rode on the pavement to try to evade capture by police officers who were driving a car with its sirens and lights activated, just after 6.30pm on June 21.

The pursuit came to an end when cops used the controversial "tactical contact" strategy, which sees specially trained "Scorpion drivers" ramming their car into criminals, to send them tumbling into the road.

Scotland Yard adopted the strategy in 2017 after a rise in robberies, phone snatches and acid attacks using scooters.

Within a year moped-enabled crime plummeted by a third.

Rogers, 20 from the Whitmore Estate, Hoxton, was detained and arrested.

Alfie Woods, 18, of Thrasher Close, Haggerston, made off on foot, but officers tracked him down and arrested him in Victoria Park where they found clothing he had discarded.

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The moped had been stolen earlier that day, and the stolen phone was found next to the moped after it had been stopped.

Cannabis was found on both men.

They were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday, after pleading guilty to the offences on July 22.

Rogers has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment for robbery, aggravated vehicle taking, no insurance, dangerous driving and handling stolen goods.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and 10 months.

Woods was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment for robbery, aggravated vehicle taking, possession of cannabis and handling stolen goods.

He was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Det Const Toby Reynolds, from the Met's Operation Venice team which tackles moped-enabled crime, said: "These men snatched a phone from an unsuspecting woman, and then endangered members of the public as they rode through east London trying to evade capture.

"Offenders should know that committing offences on mopeds does not give them an advantage over police, and officers have a number of lawful tactics which they can use to stop perpetrators.

"The Operation Venice team run regular proactive patrols in moped crime hotspots to identify offenders and protect the public."