Robert Rinder has said he feels an “overwhelming sense of sadness” for a group of thieves who mugged him.

The barrister and TV judge said he had his phone “grabbed” from his hand on Wednesday evening in north London.

The Metropolitan Police said officers are investigating a report of a theft at around 8.40pm on Wednesday in Finchley Road.

A statement said: “Three males dressed in black approached the victim and took his mobile phone. Inquiries are ongoing. No arrests at this early stage.”

On Thursday Rinder tweeted: “After the rage, I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness for these boys because I’ve seen where their path leads.

“In the meantime we need to champion, train & fully resource our brave police officers – who come from EVERY background – to work with ALL communities to protect us.”

On Wednesday Rinder said the thieves, who were wearing balaclavas, “laughed as I shouted to drop it”.

“I’m in shock but am insured & privileged,” he added.

“Others are less lucky. Help me find these people & stop them (financial reward).”

A number of famous faces sent messages to Rinder after the mugging.

Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy tweeted: “Main thing is you’re ok. Tried texting you but…..doh. Call if you need anything.”

Singer Beverley Knight added: “I am so sorry Robert. I don’t care about privilege, nothing about what happened to you is ok.”