Met po­lice get tough on scooter-rid­ing thieves

Moped-rid­ing crim­i­nals hit hard by hardline po­lice tac­tics

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‘We will tar­get those in­volved in moped crime at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity’ COM­MAN­DER AMANDA PEAR­SON, FRONT­LINE POLICING

They at­tack mem­bers of the pub­lic with ham­mers, ma­chetes and crow­bars, mount pave­ments to steal phones, watches and bags, use mopeds as bat­ter­ing rams to break into shops and they throw acid in riders’ faces to steal mopeds. These are not mo­tor­cy­clists, moped riders or biker gangs; they’re crim­i­nals us­ing bikes to en­able their crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

They are also the scourge of Lon­don’s streets but the Met Po­lice are now fight­ing back hard against those who steal and use moped... and it’s get­ting re­sults. Lat­est year-on-year fig­ures for moped crime show that from Jan­uary to Oc­to­ber 2017 there were 19,455 of­fences across Lon­don, com­pared to Jan­uary to Oc­to­ber 2018 when there were 12,419 of­fences (7036 fewer); a fall of 36 per cent. The same trend is ap­par­ent when you look at the theft of mopeds, show­ing that in Jan­uary to Oc­to­ber 2017 there were 12,192 of­fences across Lon­don com­pared to Jan­uary to Oc­to­ber 2018 when there were 8261 (3931 fewer); a re­duc­tion of 32 per cent.

While some have crit­i­cised the tac­tics, claim­ing that the po­lice are ‘knock­ing kids off their mopeds’ and draw­ing some as­tound­ingly crass crit­i­cism from the same politi­cians who were so re­cently be­moan­ing the po­lice’s ap­par­ent lack of ac­tion; the over­whelm­ing re­sponse from the gen­eral pub­lic has been pos­i­tive sup­port for the Po­lice. Footage re­leased last Fri­day by the Met showed the tac­tics in op­er­a­tion, with trained of­fi­cers us­ing their ve­hi­cles to stop crim­i­nals by block­ing or ram­ming them when they failed to stop. Po­lice use a range of tac­tics, in­clud­ing DNA foren­sic tag­ging and the use of ‘stingers’, but where a rider is pre­sent­ing a dan­ger to oth­ers and re­fuses to stop the new in­ter­ven­tions will en­sure they’re stopped forcibly. Com­man­der Amanda Pear­son of Front­line Policing, said: “The Met is at the fore­front of tack­ling moped and mo­tor­cy­cle crime and I am pleased to see that we have seen a re­duc­tion in of­fences. “There is a per­cep­tion that if you re­move your hel­met or fail to stop for po­lice when re­quested to do so we will not take any fur­ther course of ac­tion. This is un­true. The pub­lic quite rightly ex­pects us to in­ter­vene to keep Lon­don safe. Our highly trained po­lice driv­ers weigh up the risks and de­cide upon the most ap­pro­pri­ate tac­tics in those cir­cum­stances. Of­fend­ers on mopeds and mo­tor­cy­cles who at­tempt to evade the po­lice are mak­ing a choice that puts them­selves and oth­ers at risk. So our mes­sage is clear: we can, we will and we do tar­get those in­volved in moped and mo­tor­cy­cle crime at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.”

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Met have be­gun us­ing more force in moped crime

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