Police use ‘stingers’ and ‘tactical contact’ to force moped suspects off the road
Officers using high-powered cars and light-weight BMW motorbikes
06 February, 2018 — By William McLennan
Pursuits have been ended by using authorised collisions
POLICE drivers have been forcing suspect vehicles off the road as they ramp up their offensive against moped crime.
Suspects on mopeds have been pursued along pavements and in at least one occasion deliberately knocked off following “tactical contact” with a police vehicle.
Police are also using remotely-controlled stingers, which they said will “safely deflate the tires without blowouts”. It was used for the first time at the end of last month.
Police said: “Moped criminals won’t stand a chance against this and we can deploy it in seconds.”
They have also made repeated use of a tactic referred to as a “reinforced stop”, in which a police bike or car pulls in front of a stationary or slow moving vehicle to stop it pulling away.
Trained drivers in high-powered cars and light-weight BMW motorbikes have been tackling the surge in the crime, in which stolen mopeds are used to facilitate other crimes including phone snatches and smash-and-grab raids.
A 19-year-old from Kilburn was arrested last month after a pursuit was brought to a close by the use of “tactical contact”. The teen is due to appear in court later this month charged with dangerous driving and the possession of class-A drugs and a seven-inch knife.
In another pursuit in Euston Road, a suspect on a stolen moped tried to evade police, but turned down an alleyway blocked by construction works. He was arrested after officers found cannabis, crystal meth and crack cocaine in the vehicle’s top box.
A suspect was pursued along the pavement before crashing
Police said: “Rider tried to lose [pursuing police motorbike] by going down pavements, but wherever he can go so can we.”
The use of a “tactical stop” requires police drivers to receive authorisation from bosses at the Met central command. It can be a controversial tactic, due to the potential for injury.
The Independent Office of Police Conduct are currently investigating a case in south London that led to a moped driver being treated in hospital for a serious head injury.
However, the use of the tactic in Camden has received praise online.
PC Peter Brown, an officer in Bradford, wrote: “Full credit to the Met for taking the bull by the horns. Hopefully reports of incidents such as this will filter back down through the criminal ranks and their apparent sense of being untouchable on two wheels will start to fade.”