Friday, March 1, 2024
HomeNEWSreforms should help tackle 'moped' crime

reforms should help tackle 'moped' crime

Police drivers will have more legal protection while pursuing criminals on mopeds.

New Home Office proposals aim to end the “myth” that officers cannot pursue riders who are not wearing helmets.

“Criminals must not think they can get away with a crime by riding or driving in a certain way,” policing minister Nick Hurd said.

The Police Federation, which has called for the changes, welcomed the reforms, but the federation’s roads policing lead, Tim Rogers, urged government to “act quickly to prevent more officers suffering unnecessary and often mendacious prosecutions”.

The reforms – which would affect forces in England and Wales – follow concerns among officers that they risk prosecution for careless or dangerous driving if they chase criminals at high speed, particularly those on mopeds and motorcycles.

Under current rules, any motorist – including police officers – who fails to drive in a “competent and careful” manner can be prosecuted for careless or dangerous driving.
The Police Federation argues this deters some officers from pursuing suspects – because they are worried they will be investigated and charged if they have to break the speed limit, jump red lights or drive on the wrong side of the road.

The overhaul of the law follows a surge in crimes involving scooters and motorbikes in the last three years, particularly in London.

Common crimes include snatching phones, but some people have been slashed with knives by criminals who had even resorted to attacks using acid – thankfully rare.
There’s no specific rule which forces the police from calling off a pursuit. It’s up to individual forces to issue guidance to officers.

The Home Office consultation says “we have seen how criminals’ perception of well-intentioned local guidance around pursuing motorcycle riders not wearing crash helmets has contributed to an increase in motorcycle-related crime, particularly in London”.

The Metropolitan Police said that if a suspect removes their helmet they can still pursue, while “taking advice from the pursuit tactical adviser”.

 

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