London

London hit-and-runs injure nearly 5,000 people

Forensic police officer examining car in Lennard Road Image copyright PA
Image caption Forensic police officers examined the car after the driver fled the scene in Penge

Nearly 5,000 people were injured or killed in hit-and-run crashes in London last year, according to new data.

The figure shows there is a hit-and-run crash every two hours in the city.

Last year 11 people died, 287 were left with serious injuries and 4,647 with slight injuries, in what has been labelled a hit-and-run "epidemic".

Statistics obtained by the Green Party in London show the number of hit-and-run casualties in the capital rose for the seventh year in a row.

Total hit-and-run incidents have increased 60% since 2009 , while the number of fatalities increased for the first time in three years.

For more on this story and others in London

Image copyright Sian Berry
Image caption Figures obtained by Sian Berry show hit-and-runs have increased both in numbers and as a percentage of total collisions

The data was obtained by Sian Berry, who represents the Green Party on the Greater London Assembly, and her predecessor Jenny Jones through questions to the mayor of London and freedom of information (FOI) requests.

Ms Berry said: "With drivers now failing to stop after a shocking one in five crashes, this is a real epidemic that needs real action from the police.

"Hit-and-runs are associated with other illegal activities such as drunk driving, speeding, being disqualified or simply having no insurance."

Hit-and-run crashes in London

4,945

Total number in 2015

  • 11 People killed

  • 287 Suffered serious injuries

  • 4,647 Suffered slight injuries

BBC

The number of prosecutions for hit-and-runs is currently unknown due to "limitations" in the way the Metropolitan Police record cases, according to the Mayor's Office.

"The mayor needs to ensure that the police enforce the rules of the road and people need to believe that if they run away from a crash they will face consequences," Ms Berry said.

Last month a 60-year-old woman was seriously injured after a car ploughed into her and two small children, in a hit-and-run incident in Newham.

While in March a nine-month-old baby sustained a head injury when he and his mother were hit by a moped as they crossed a road in east London, before the driver - who had been performing wheelies - fled.

Scotland Yard said it was "working hard to reduce collisions and the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads."

"The Roads and Transport Policing Command has a specific remit to reduce collisions and the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads.

"All such incidents, including those that are hit-and-runs, are fully investigated with the utmost priority," a spokesman said.

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