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Opinion: New police moped tactic is necessary and proportionate

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 December 2018

Jon Cruddas, MP for Rainham and Upminster. Photo: Andrew Achilleos

Jon Cruddas, MP for Rainham and Upminster. Photo: Andrew Achilleos

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Violent moped and motorbike-related crime is a scourge on our streets.

Over the last few years I have been inundated with terrifying personal stories of constituents being attacked by modern day highway robbers.

One issue I have been banging on about has been the police’s “no pursuit” rule, whereby raiders have been able to escape because it is deemed too risky to the criminal’s health and safety to chase them down.

Well, thankfully, that has come to an end. The Metropolitan Police have introduced “tactical contact”, which involves pursuits by specially-trained “Skorpion” drivers. No longer can these violent thugs remove their helmets or drive dangerously just to ensure that police won’t chase them. And, yes, in some cases officers are using their vehicles to drive the riders off the road.

I think this is a necessary and proportionate measure, and the results are impressive.

Figures across London show 12,419 moped-related offences from January to October, compared with 19,455 in the same period last year. That’s a reduction of 44per cent.

But there is still more than can be done. And this week I am supporting an amendment in the House of Commons to the Offensive Weapons Bill. which will make driving a moped or motorbike while in possession of corrosive substances and dangerous knives an aggravated offence.

So there are some positives in the fight against crime. However the latest knife attack numbers in the borough are deeply alarming. This year there have been 150 cases where people have been injured – a rise of 50per cent on last year.

That’s why I launched the Calling Time On Crime campaign demanding the government put more resources into front-line policing and reverse the cuts in funding.

If you would like to support the campaign, please sign the petition https://joncruddas.org.uk/calling-time-crime-petition

You can also request petitions to be mailed out so that you can collect signatures down your street. Just email mullanem@parliament.uk with your name and address, or call the office on 020 8984 7854 and leave your details.

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