By Chris York
The Met Police has released a video showing the “full range of tactics” used by officers dealing with criminals riding mopeds, in order to make them “think twice about their actions”.
The short montage of clips tweeted by the force shows a number of real-life incidents, the majority of which end with the suspected criminal crashing or hitting the bonnet of a police car.
Commander Amanda Pearson, of the Met’s frontline policing unit, said a hard-line approach using “tactical contact” is needed to stop dangerous chases and arrest suspects.
Chief Inspector Jim Corbett: “To mitigate risk to the public & also offenders, we use a range of tactics including tactical contact. There has been a significant reduction in motorcycle & scooter crime with a decrease of 10,974 offences to date this year in comparison to 2017” pic.twitter.com/w1JE86WVkS
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) November 23, 2018
In a briefing at Scotland Yard on Friday, police chiefs warned there is no maximum speed for police cars to hit mopeds, and that it is a common misconception among moped thieves that officers will end their pursuit if the suspect drives dangerously or removes their helmet.
The suspects, some as young as 14 and others driving at up to 100mph, are “riding dangerously before there is any sort of police vehicle involved”, Pearson said.
Operation Venice, which tackles moped-related crime, also uses DNA forensic tagging which sees suspects and their vehicles marked with a spray which can be spotted by UV lights up to one month after the crime was committed, directly linking the perpetrator to the crime.
So far, 28 suspects have been arrested using the spray.
Reaction to the video has so far been mixed with one commentator saying the police have gone “full GTA” – a reference to the hit video game Grand Theft Auto.
Met Police go full GTA on moped thieves, to wild acclaim. https://t.co/xwH7Zz6gCF
— Duncan Robinson (@duncanrobinson) November 23, 2018
While others welcomed the tactics.
That’s one of the most satisfying videos I’ve watched lately.
— Markwyb (@markwyb) November 23, 2018