Devin Narang, a renewable energy entrepreneur and a member of the executive committee of FICCI, said the rising theft of Rolex watches on the streets of London was one of the biggest concerns of India’s business elite.
“People are being mugged in the heart of London — in Mayfair,” Narang, said at a meeting Tuesday held between shadow foreign secretary David Lammy and Indian business leaders.
“All CEOs in India have had an experience of physical mugging and the police not responding,” he added, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Lammy was meeting business figures in Delhi as part of a three-day trip to India to discuss Labour’s proposals for a new UK-India strategic partnership.
“Indians do carry expensive things, but the police not responding is a matter of concern. London is a walking city. You don’t want to look over your shoulder all the time. You don’t want to go to a city where you’re likely to be mugged in the streets. It doesn’t make you feel comfortable. You can walk anywhere in Delhi and you won’t be mugged,” Narang said.
He added that he understood attacks often took place in Mayfair, citing cases of people having expensive bags stolen or watches being cut off wrists in the street.
Lammy said several other Indians had also raised concerns about muggings and thefts in London during his three-day trip.
Between April and September 2022 there were over 300 luxury watches stolen across the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham. Soho, Mayfair and the south part of Kensington and Chelsea account for 40% of all watch robberies in London.
The Met Police have been carrying out undercover operations to target robbery hotspots with undercover officers wearing luxury watches posing as members of the public to catch thieves red-handed.
A spokesperson for the mayor of London said: “London is one of the safest global cities in the world and the mayor is determined to continue making progress by being tough on crime with record funding for the police.”