London moped crime nearly halves in a year following tougher police measures

Since 2018, officers have been able to drive into criminals to shunt them off motorbikes

Police reported a man was firing a machinegun from a balcony. Metropolitan Police
Powered by automated translation

There has been a significant decline moped-related crime in London since the Metropolitan Police adopted a hard-line approach to thieves on vehicles, with motorcycle crime almost halving in a year.

In November 2018, the police were given the power to drive into suspected violent thieves on mopeds and ram them off their vehicles. Insp Jim Corbett said at the time that such tactics were necessary to reduce crime.

The method was criticised by some MPs for being too dangerous. Just days after announcing the new law, Labour MP Diane Abbott tweeted: “Knocking people off bikes is potentially very dangerous. It shouldn't be legal for anyone. Police are not above the law.”

However, following a peak of moped-enabled crime in the UK in July 2017, there has been a steady fall.

Between December 2017 and November 2018, there were 15,168 mopeds, motorcycles and scooters used in crime. In the same period the following year the number fell by 42.5 per cent to 8,721. In the same period, the number of stolen mopeds, scooters and motorcycles has reduced by 12.5 per cent.

The Metropolitan Police on Friday also announced that it is using lighter and faster motorbikes to better tackle moped crime in the British capital.

Officers from the Met’s Operation Venice team, which tackle moped thieves and moped-related crime such as robberies and phone snatches, from today will use new BMW motorcycles.  Officers hope the small and lighter new model will help them catch thieves more successfully.

Chief Inspector Jim Corbett, from the Met’s Operation Venice team, said: “Although my officers have, and continue, to reduce moped-enabled crime, we are not complacent and know that offenders still believe that they can evade capture when they are on their mopeds.

“These new vehicles will allow our specialist drivers to pursue offenders. Their lightweight design has been specially tailored to help us reduce moped enabled crime even further.”

“The new bikes and the help of the public will be instrumental in stopping this type of crime.”