Gang using busway for knifepoint robberies

Bradley Hammond, 22, of Nobes Avenue, Gosport, has been jailed for 10 months.

Bradley Hammond, 22, of Nobes Avenue, Gosport, has been jailed for 10 months.

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A gang is using the Luton/Dunstable busway to commit a series of robberies police have revealed.

Since the end of September there has been six robberies against individuals using the busway near the White Lion Retail Park in Dunstable.

In several of the cases a knife has been brandished at the victim, and various items including cash and mobile phones have been stolen. The offenders are described as a group of between three and six youths, described as black and aged in their late teens to early 20s.

Officers have conducted environmental audits of the affected location and have noted areas for improvement in lighting and CCTV, which will be progressed with partners. Increased patrols in this area have also been taking place and will continue into the weekend.

Detective Superintendent Vicki Evans, investigating the offences, said: “These are concerning set of series which have left the victims fearful of going about their daily business, either carrying out their honest work or simply using the bus.

“No-one should be threatened in this completely unprovoked manner and it’s vitally important that anyone who has any information about these groups – which we believe to be separate – or these attacks comes forward so that we can find the people responsible.

“I would urge anyone who drives a vehicle for a living, or uses the Dunstable busway, not to be alarmed but to be aware of their surroundings and alert to any activity which arouses suspicion or concern. We are conducting a full review of the offences reported and are thoroughly investigating each one.

“We do tend to see a rise in robbery offences at this time of year as the darker evenings creep in but we would like to reassure the public that we are employing a number of tactics in order to track those responsible to bring them to justice, to ensure that no-one else goes through this distressing ordeal.

“We are upping our patrols over this busy Halloween weekend, and continue to urge anyone with information on either series to contact me on 101.”