Film director slams police for refusing to fetch stolen phone from moped crooks after he finds it using app

Martin Coulter
Mr Hazeldine says there is a 'response lottery' when reporting moped gangs: Stuart Hazeldine

A film director has criticised police for failing to tackle moped crooks who stole his phone - despite telling them exactly where it was using a mobile app.

Filmmaker Stuart Hazeldine, 46, said he had his phone snatched from his hands by a thief on a moped outside King's Cross railway station

When he returned home, he located the device using the 'Find my iPhone' app and tracked it down to an address in Elia Mews, Islington.

But when he contacted the police non-emergency 101 number, he said he was told by a Met Police officer "no-one is going to do anything tonight."

Scotland Yard told the Standard that due to the number of residences at the address they were unable to locate the device.

Mr Hazeldine said: "These thieves acted like pros. It seemed to me they had done this before so, I'm thinking, there's a fair chance there's a couple hundred phones sat up there.

"Of course, I didn't exactly expect any doors to be bust down there and then I was just looking for some sort of reassurance that some action was going to be taken."

Mr Hazeldine, who has worked on a number of Hollywood films and wrote and directed the 2009 cult thriller Exam, said there seemed to be a "response lottery" when reporting moped gangs to the police.

He said: "I know of one guy who reported a theft and, shortly after, he was in the car with two officers on the lookout for the guys who robbed him.

"There seems to be a kind of 'response lottery' at work where you just don't know what kind of assistance you're going to receive.

"I've had a mix of police communication face-to-face and over the internet. One officer said the crime wasn't serious enough to respond to."

A spokesman for the Met said: "Police were contacted by a man who reported the theft of his mobile phone during a scooter-enabled theft on Thursday, 9 November at approximately 23:50hrs.

"The victim subsequently informed officers that he had tracked his phone - using location software - to a block of flats in Elia Mews, Islington N1.

"Due to the number of residences at this address officers have been unable to locate the stolen property.

"Should any new information come to light police will not hesitate to act."

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.