The confirmation came with a video of the strategy being put into action: a collage of dashcam footage showing police cars being used to hit mopeds during a chase, sending the rider flying through the air or down on the ground – and eventually into police custody.
As we speak, people are still talking about the surprisingly-controversial tactic. Most Londoners agree such a drastic measure was a long time coming, but there are also those that believe it’s wrong for cops to act this way. Among them is Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who believes it’s dangerous and illegal to knock people off their bikes, even if a cop is doing it.
Until now, police were reluctant to give chase to moped thieves for a variety of reasons, their young age included (some are as young as 14). Now, thanks to the Scorpion division of drivers, they can effectively end a chase and arrest a suspect with a simple, controlled “nudge,” as Sgt. Tony McGovern describes it.
“It’s just a slight nudge. It’s controlled. It’s incredibly quick and very dynamic. Your decision-making changes in a split second,” McGovern says. Despite the myth that police will not pursue a rider without a helmet, McGovern says that not only will they give chase, but they will also “nudge” them if need be.
“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,” Commander Amanda Pearson says. “Offenders on mopeds and motorcycles who attempt to evade the police are making a choice that puts themselves and others at risk. A lot of them get up and run away, looking aghast at how dare we.”
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
Knocking people off bikes is potentially very dangerous. It shouldn't be legal for anyone. Police are not above the law https://t.co/boptGhJYbB— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) November 27, 2018