Police reveal new range of brutal tactics to be used against moped thieves
Moped and motorcycle criminals will be targeted "at every opportunity", even when they ride dangerously, discard their helmets and disguise themselves, the head of the Met's Operation Venice Team has said.
Footage released today by the Met show the tactics that specially trained drivers are able to use to reduce the need for pursuits and prevent injury occurring to offenders and members of the public.
Moped crime can happen at any time of the day or night and some criminals have stolen up to 30 phones in an hour. Victims are often targeted as they come out of tube stations or at transport hubs. Thieves also snatch handbags, high value watches and other items.
Police use a range of tactics across London to tackle offenders. This includes DNA forensic tagging and the use of automatic tyre deflation devices.
As a result of intensive proactive policing and engagement, led by the Operation Venice Investigations Team, there have been reductions in moped crime across London.
Latest year-on-year figures for moped crime show that in January 2017 to October 2017 there were 19,455 offences across London compared to January 2018 to October 2018 when there were 12,419 offences (7,036 fewer offences) - a reduction of 44 per cent.
Latest year-on-year figures for theft of mopeds show that in January 2017 to October 2017 there were 12,192 offences across London compared to January 2018 to October 2018 when there were 8,261 offences (3,931 fewer offences) - a reduction of 38 per cent.
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. However, we are not complacent and we will continue to work tirelessly across London to maintain this downward trend.
"Operation Venice can call on all manner of tactics from an experienced investigation team to police helicopters to tackle and arrest offenders.
"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."