Life on bikes

London announces zero tolerance approach to moped crime

The Mayor of London has announced new measures and support for changes to police guidance on pursuits of mopeds involved in crime.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London has revealed details of Met Police operations against moped riding criminals and support for changes in legislation that will give more support to police officers involved in pursuits.

At the same time, Biker & Bike has learnt that the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Ministry of Justice may be changing legislation related to vehicle pursuits as early as December of this year.

In a press release today, the Mayor laid out a series measures and clarifications with the aim of producing, “A zero-tolerance approach to moped crime.

“Our police officers are working extremely hard to crack down on perpetrators, deploying dedicated ground operations, building intelligence on offenders, and using prevention work to make the streets hostile territory for criminals who use mopeds, motorbikes and bicycles for robberies and violence.”

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Referring to a meeting attended by the Met Police, City of London Police, Transport for London, local authorities, London Councils, representatives of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community (along with Biker & Bike, MCPC are members of the #BikersUnited group) and the national Police Crime Prevention Initiatives organisation, the Mayor said, “Today is about highlighting what more can be done, with the insights of victims and motorcyclists as well as police and local authorities, and doing everything we can to bring these changes in as soon as possible as we continue to tackle this very serious issue and keep these terrible crimes off our streets.”

Met Police Commander Julian Bennett said: “The MPS is working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters, mopeds, and motorbikes and use them to snatch valuables and commit violent crime on members of the public. Most moped-enabled crime involves stolen vehicles, so preventing motorcycles from being stolen in the first place is key.”

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More operations revealed

The statement also laid out the current operations being carried out by the Met to deal with nearly 20,000 moped enabled crimes in the last year:

– Operation Venice: Launched in July 2015, Operation Venice is MPS-wide and provides the overarching approach to tackle the more violent, smash and grab offences enabled by P2P, as well as tackling P2P theft at hotspot locations pan London. Operation Venice has four strands: prevent, protect, prepare and pursue. A recent ‘day of action’ across London saw over 80 activities taking place across 18 boroughs with 197 total recoveries, 20 arrests and 69 vehicle seizures.

– Operation Attrition: An operation based in Camden and Islington where a dedicated unit patrols hot spots and manages offenders. These two boroughs experience 90 per cent of mobile phone theft in this way. Other boroughs that experience this crime, albeit on a smaller scale, will employ their own bespoke tactics.

– Operation Vocare: Launched in September 2016, this operation targets suspects involved in moped-enabled crime across north London. On 31 January, 13 people were arrested as part of an intelligence-led operation for a variety of offences including conspiracy to rob. Ongoing work is being developed with SCO7 (Serious and Organised Crime) to target the gang elements connected with some of this criminality.

The Mayor also clarified his position on making it easier to pursue moped riding criminals.

“If police were to make new representations for a change in the law the Mayor’s office will listen to them and will support them if those new proposals will better protect and support police officers pursuing moped crime.”

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