The popularity of mopeds as transport for criminals in London appears to be on the wane according to figures from the Metropolitan Police.
Numbers from the Met show that from February to May show a 38.5% decline in the number of times scooters or mopeds were used for crimes when compared to the period between October 2017 and January 2018.
According to the Home Office, the drop is down to new police tactics including the adoption of off-road police bikes to pursue moped-riding crims. The use of marker sprays, which help police to tie suspects to particular crimes, is also helping.
Last month the Government also announced a new consultation on police rule changes that would make it easier for cops to chase bike-mounted suspects. It includes proposals to put the onus on the suspects’ responsibility for their own decisions to ride dangerously rather than pin any blame on pursuing officers in the event of a crash.
Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: “The Metropolitan Police is working hard to tackle moped crime, which has been falling virtually month-on-month in the capital since its peak in July last year.
“We are determined to support the police in their fight against crime and that is why we are consulting to change the law to give officers greater confidence to chase suspects on the roads.”
Meanwhile, the Motorcycle Industry Association has also upped the stakes in the fight against bike theft, again partly in response to moped-mounted crime, by introducing ‘MCIA Secured’. It’s a new industry standard for theft deterrence, and intends to rate each model from participating manufacturers, awarding a star for each layer of security fitted to a bike as standard.
For instance, a bike with nothing more than a steering lock will get just one star, while one with a steering lock, alarm, immobiliser, tracking device and MASTER security system (Datatag) will get five stars.
MCIA CEO Tony Campbell said: “The market has suffered damage especially in London, many riders have chosen to give up on using a motorcycle or scooter due to repeated theft. MCIA Secured will recognise the efforts manufacturers have made up until now but also encourage the inclusion and further development of new technologies as they come available.
“As an industry, we have been working closely with the Home Office and all other stakeholders in order to reduce crime involving motorcycles & scooters, adding additional security in layers and raising awareness to the riders will help but, we are calling for local government to improve secure parking and more recognition for the users of powered two wheelers within planning and transport policy.
“Even considering the increase in theft and crime, the number of people opting to use a motorcycle and scooter has been rising over the past 20 years, we believe by introducing this new scheme highlighting which anti-theft devices are fitted as standard will help the customer make more informed choices and raise awareness of the importance of protecting their motorcycle or scooter from criminals”.
Victoria Atkins, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, said: “I welcome the MCIA Secured programme, which demonstrates that our industry partners are playing their part in tackling crimes involving motorcycles, mopeds and scooters.
“The Home Office recognises that this is a complex issue with no one quick fix, which is why last September we brought together government departments, the police, industry and civil partners to work together to develop a plan to prevent these crimes and keep the public safe.
“I would urge everyone buying a motorcycle, moped or scooter to consult MCIA Secured programme when purchasing their vehicles.”