London’s Met Police Use Cars to Knock Moped Thieves Off Their Bikes, at Last

Faced with the harsh reality of not being able to stop moped crime from spreading, officers from London’s Metropolitan Police are finally free to use their cars as weapons and ram them into moped thieves, knocking them off their bikes and effectively ending the chase.
Met Police can now use their cars as weapons to ram into moped thieves 5 photos
Photo: Twitter / Met Police
Thieves leaving the areaAbandoned PanigalePeople stop thieves from stealing bikePeople stop thieves from stealing bike
The “tactical contact” strategy has actually been in use since October 2017, but it was just last week that Met Police officially confirmed it, while also revealing that it has contributed to a sharp drop in the number of moped-related crimes, The Guardian reports.

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.”

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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