SMIDSY has heard that finally the police are taking motorcycle thieves and scooter gangs a bit more seriously. This is following Ms Rudd hearing that these thieves and thugs often remove their helmets while being chased by the police, to discourage further pursuit or risk ending up in the dock themselves.
The police have long claimed that they are restricted by rules that state they can only give chase when the risk is proportionate to the crime. Officers have been following an unwritten H&S rule which keeps them safe and free from prosecution while doing their duties.
Ms Rudd has now addressed this issue at a conference of police chiefs and crime commissioners and told them that she would take action:
“You said that officers have concerns about pursuing and apprehending moped-riding criminals. You explained that some officers worry about their legal position when pursuing suspected offenders when they’re on mopeds or scooters.
So we’ve listened and we’re taking action. We’re reviewing the law and practice regarding police pursuits. ‘We want to make sure officers feel they have the legal protection they need to go after moped and scooter gangs.
I can say today that there will be change. These criminals terrorise our streets, intimidating people into giving over their phones or wallets and leaving many too scared to walk outside their front doors.
I don’t want any officer to feel that they cannot pursue someone like this because they have taken their helmet off. We will always support the police and officers, not the criminals who commit these awful crimes on our streets”
It has been reported that from January to September 2017 there were more than 19,385 crimes enabled by mopeds in London alone and that is simply not acceptable.
These thugs not only take our pride and joy, and use them to commit further crimes – they promote the stigma that all who ride are thugs, thieves and generally bad people which in turn makes the public care less about us and our wellbeing when on the road!
While the rules that come into place are not expected to give a complete pardon to all officers involved in these incidences, they are expected to state that the pursuit drivers have significant skills and experience and that this should be taken into account by those who may be trying to prosecute them – meaning that it will be a lot harder to be charged should anything happen while they’re giving chase.
Sergeant Tim Rogers has said
“We don’t want to put moped criminals at risk pf death or injury. But if they feel they can commit crime with impunity knowing the police won’t follow and then on the fourth, fifth or sixth time a member of the public stands up to them and is killed there will be an outcry.
‘Police are currently being judged by the same standards as motorist in any normal driving situation with no recognition the professional training emergency response drivers undertake”
We can only hope that this will mean that the machines that we spend so much time and money on will be safer, that our homes will be safer and that crime levels in general will drop, now that moped gangs and criminals know that they cannot simply remove a helmet and drive off into the sunset.
What are your thoughts, is this far enough? Or should police have more power to clamp down on these gangs?
SMIDSY has previously covered Bike Security so if you’re worried about your pride and joy this may help.