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the met explains how it is tackling scooter theft

The Metropolitan Police Service says it is working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters, motorbikes, mopeds, and bicycles to snatch valuables from members of the public.

In response to an approach from BDN, the force said: “We are committed to taking every opportunity to divert, disrupt, detect and prosecute those involved in scooter, moped, and motor cycle-related criminality.”

The Met’s coordinated approach is called Operation Venice, which among other things is working with the motorcycle industry partners and dealerships to introduce security awareness at the point of purchase of a scooter. Compulsory Basic Training providers, who run scooter training courses, are being brought onboard to help promote security messages during training sessions. Industry, councils, partners, insurers and manufacturers will increase security awareness and work towards longer term solutions to make scooters harder to steal.

Operation Venice officers are “conducting targeted operations throughout London and through intelligence-led investigations and operations prevent and detect moped theft”.

This includes:
• raids on individuals suspected of stealing scooters, motorcycles and mopeds and using them to commit crimes
• DNA capture
• mass checks on stationary and moving scooters, motorcycles and mopeds
• high visibility patrols in key areas and increased street searches for stolen scooters and motorcycles
• Automatic Number Plate Reader deployments
• Each borough has been mobilised to tackle these offences under the Op Venice model
• Local policing teams to use local knowledge to attend, locations, events and other forums to reach all communities and provide reassurance messages & the ability for communities to communicate directly with local officers to enhance the intelligence picture.

The Met says it is also:
Reducing the opportunities to take the vehicles in the first place through a combination of approaches
• Making owners aware of what they can do about reducing the thefts
• working with industry and councils to protect or design the theft options out of the vehicles
Reducing the ability of the offenders to use the vehicles in crime
• Concentrated deployments around high crime areas
• Improved methods for police to engage with scooters to stop them committing offences
• Working with agencies to design out road systems / alleyways that make escape better

Improving public awareness and protection when offenders use these mopeds to commit crime:
• Concentrated media campaigns for public awareness focusing on distinct victim groups – commuter / school and college pupils / local community / Night time economy users
• Getting business and council support for consistent message to commuters / NTE venues re the risk

Removing the markets for these offenders to dispose of their goods:
• Engagement with secondhand phone shops, markets, scooter dealers, garages to improve intelligence and remove locations that will buy the stolen property

Bringing offenders to justice / Influencing the offenders reasons for committing these offences
• Using intelligence and CCTV to identify linked offences and bring offenders to justice
• Proactive stance with sting vehicles, targeted operations, focus on criminal cohort to reduce high volume offenders
• Improve with Youth Services and 3rd sector groups the diversion opportunities for the young offenders involved as arresting them continuously will not work

Working with industry partners
As stated above, Operation Venice is also working with motorcycle industry partners – as reported earlier in the week by the Motor Cycle Industry Association.

Publicity campaign
On Friday 23 June, Commissioner Cressida Dick launched our publicity campaign, which supports the policing by encouraging riders to layer up their security to reduce their vulnerability to thieves, focussing primarily on scooter riders, who are less likely to use strong security products. In many cases, owners have inadequate security or no security at all on their scooters, making it easy for thieves to steal them and then use them to commit snatch and robbery offences.

Security measures alone cannot guarantee a scooter will not be stolen, but every step taken makes it less attractive to a thief. There is a film which shows not only how easy it is for thieves to steal vehicles that have not been adequately secured, but that thieves are less likely to target bikes with two locks, put off by the time involved in stealing them.
As well as similar parking bay events, which will be held across London, the campaign will also see adverts on buses travelling through some of the top scooter theft hotspots in London – Westminster, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Southwark, Haringey and Hammersmith and Fulham.
There will also be leaflets, a social media campaign and vinyl stencils printed onto dedicated parking bays in hotspot boroughs, reminding riders to use more security.
To find out more about this campaign and how you can protect yourself please visit: www.met.police.uk/besafe
Crime prevention advice
• Anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously around these vehicles should call police immediately on 999. Anyone with information should call local police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

On crime prevention, the Met says that, while it is continually tackling this crime, there is much the owners of mopeds and motorcycles can do themselves.

– Parking: Choose designated parking with a stand and security loop, or if this is not available try areas with lots of people, good lighting and CCTV

– Locks: Use more than one lock, focusing on disc locks and chain locks, fitted tight to the bike and through difficult to remove parts

– Time: When leaving your bike for a long period or overnight, lock it to something secure and use a motorbike cover. At home consider using fitted anchors to secure your bike

– Attention: Use audible alarms where possible to draw unwanted attention to the thieves

– Marking: Choose to mark your bike parts with the vehicle identification number (VIN) number, your postcode or registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen or property marking kit

– Insurance: Some companies will offer discounts on your insurance if you invest in certain security measures, so ask before you make your purchase.

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