Man held after axe gang robs royal fashion designer

Police have arrested a man in connection with a robbery during which a fashion designer popular with the royals had her car tyres slashed and was threatened with an axe.

Amanda Wakeley, whose creations are often worn by the duchesses of Sussex and Cambridge, was mugged by a gang of men who forced her to hand over an expensive watch before fleeing on mopeds.

Ms Wakeley was targeted in the Chelsea Harbour district of west London on Wednesday morning, according to her partner and financial PR adviser Hugh Morrison.

He said she had been examining her flat tyres when the assailants appeared brandishing the axe.

The robbers took the 57-year-old’s £25,000 Rolex watch, leaving her shocked but unhurt, according to Mr Morrison.

“The police have been amazing, but say that this happens five to six times every day in (Kensington and Chelsea) and have asked us to share this,” Mr Morrison said in a social media post.

“There were a lot of witnesses and police feel that the culprits will be caught. In the meantime, Amanda just wants to share her experience and hopes that everyone stays safe.”

Mr Morrison shared a photograph of the alleged muggers, one of whom wore a blue helmet.

The Met confirmed on Thursday morning that a 28-year-old man had been arrested late on Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery and is in custody.

Inquiries are ongoing, a spokesman said.

Statistics show moped crimes have halved in London since the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Venice to counteract the problem.

There were 23,986 crimes in which mopeds, scooters or motorbikes were used in 2017-18, but this dropped to 11,390 in 2018-19, The Times reported.

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