Mayor drives forward zero-tolerance approach to moped crime

08 September 2017

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will today, for the first time, bring together London’s police, local authorities and the Motorcycle Crime Prevent Community – which represents motorcycle users - to help drive forward his zero-tolerance approach to tackling moped-related crime in London.


In the last year* there were more than 19,385 moped enabled crimes in London - an average of 53 a day - including thefts and robberies. The Mayor is clear they will not be tolerated in the capital.


Chaired by Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime Sophie Linden, today’s meeting is a key step towards ensuring a major co-ordinated effort to prevent and root out these reckless, intimidating crimes that can have horrific consequences. Most motorcycle crime is carried out on stolen vehicles, so making them harder to steal in the first place is essential.


Small steps such as providing secure parking bays with ground anchors and CCTV, reminding motorcyclists to secure their vehicles and encouraging all Londoners to be aware of their surroundings can make a real difference to the police as they tackle this issue, but require collaboration with local authority partners. Today’s meeting aims to bring to light what more can be done to help, and set out an action plan to drive forward improvements.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Moped crime is reckless, frightening, intimidating and completely unacceptable. It will not be tolerated on our streets and it is essential that we all work together to do everything possible to stamp it out.


“Our police officers are working extremely hard to crackdown 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.


“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.


“These offenders are cowardly and rely on the unwariness of the public. We have already made inroads to tackle this criminality through proactive patrols, operations and intelligence led action on individuals. We are also working with industry and councils to better protect vehicles to make them harder to steal.


“We are committed to taking every opportunity to divert, disrupt, detect and prosecute those involved in these types of crime and I am pleased to be working with policing partners and MOPAC to bring these offenders to justice.”


The Met is working extremely hard to tackle this issue through a number of operations on the ground, building intelligence and running targeted prevention campaigns. Most moped-enabled crime involves stolen vehicles, so preventing motorcycles from being stolen in the first place is key. Pursuing motorcycles can be dangerous so THIS is a last resort for officers, who will first deploy a number of other pre-emptive tactics such as tyre-deflation devices. A rider or pillion passenger removing their crash helmet does not mean police officers cannot continue to chase them. When in pursuit, officers, their tactical advisors and the senior officer in charge will constantly review the risk. Most importantly, officers must have the resources to take appropriate action, and the Mayor continues to call on the Government to reverse the real-terms cuts to police budgets and youth services that are threatening to further reduce officer numbers at a time when we need them most.


The Met and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime continue to work with the motorcycle industry to see what more they can do to help reduce the theft of mopeds which drives this crime. The Deputy Mayor has also met with moped delivery drivers including Jabed Hussain, who was the victim of an acid attack.


All Londoners are urged to remain vigilant - be aware of your surroundings, take care of your personal items such as mobile phones, consider using hands-free on the street, use security features to lock keypads, wipe data remotely, and identify stolen devices. Most importantly, if you see any suspicious activity of have any information about who is committing these crimes please call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Notes to editors

* There were more than 19,385 moped enabled crimes in London in the year to September 2017


Today’s meeting will be chaired by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, and include the Met police, City of London Police, Transport for London, local authorities, London Councils, representatives of the Motorcycle Crime Prevent Community and the national Police Crime Prevention Initiatives organisation which aims to help prevent crime by ‘designing it out’.


There are three Met Operations focused on tackling moped enabled crime:

  • 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.


Met police policy – in line with nationally approved guidance – does not preclude a pursuit from continuing when a rider or pillion removes their helmet. It also does not preclude tactical contact. When in pursuit, officers, their tactical advisors and the senior officer in charge must constantly review the risk posed by continuing, balanced against the type of criminality under consideration and the risk posed to all road users. It is important that officers feel confident and able to take appropriate action when pursuing suspects on mopeds.  It is also important that the law and any guidelines protect and do not hinder the police. 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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