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Story Behind The Image: Photo agency photographer on nailing London hammer gang pics

EXCLUSIVE: Motorbike gang with hammers seen riding around near the BBC Broadcasting studios in a threatening manner and trying to steal pedestrians mobile phones. One bike went on the pavement trying to steal a mobile phone. They were riding their bikes all over the roads leaving everybody shocked by what they had seen – London. 04 May 2017  ©MEGA

It’s not every day a photographer has his pictures tweeted by a former Chancellor of the Exchequer. But that’s what happened when Mega Agency snapper Ian Lawrence, 43, captured the incredible news photos of a hammer-wielding moped gang on the streets of the capital. London’s The Evening Standard newspaper ran the dramatic set of images using the photo above across the front page on the Friday edition.

It prompted George Osborne, ex-chancellor and currently Editor on the ES to tweet the front page.


Photographer Lawrence (above), a trained newspaper photographer with over 20 years experience in the industry, said: ‘I saw two scooters speeding towards me and weaving all over the road. One of the guys on the back was wielding a hammer. They all had their faces covered up, even though they had helmets on, and I knew something was going down. I put the long lens on one of my cameras and fired off pictures as they rode around the road before disappearing. I even ran after them in a bid to get more pictures.’
Added Ian: ‘I am deaf, which makes my job very hard compared to other photographers, and I have to push myself to the limit all the time. Four years ago I nearly lost my life and had major open heart surgery which took me 16 months before I could return back to work and pick up a camera again.’
The moped gang roared around the West End on two scooters and carried out at least one theft. The four “brazen” thieves were photographed at about 2pm on Thursday as they targeted pedestrians in Langham Street, yards from the entrance to the BBC Radio 1 studio.Scotland Yard said officers were investigating one report of a theft of an iPhone from a woman in her forties on Great Portland Street just before 2pm.

• Photo desks wanting to use the images can contact The Mega Agency Here

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