NOT a day goes by without multiple reports of bike-related crimes around the UK.
Incredibly the matter has gained little traction within the government, despite the dangerous behaviour of the perpetrators.
However, in yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley and Shadow Minister of State for Policing Louise Haigh decided to tackled the matter head on, demanding the Prime Minister do more to protect police officers in the case of pursuits.
“Crime involving mopeds and bikes has soared across the country in recent years,” the 30-year-old announced in Parliament.
“Given yesterday’s unfunded real terms paid cut to the police will actually cost us more front-line officers, can I suggest to the Prime Minister that the very least you can do is change the law to protect police officers if they are driving according to their training and experience when pursuing and responding to blue lights.
“And send a message from this house that no force should be operating a blanket no pursuit policy. The police protect us every day. Isn’t it high time that the Prime Minister protected them?
Prime Minister Theresa May responded, adding that a round table on the matter has been held on Tuesday.
“Well first of all I agree that there shouldn’t be blanket no pursuit policies in place,” she said. “But obviously each Chief Constable will make operational decisions in their own force.
“On the first issue that she raised, about the issue of crime relating to mopeds particularly - this has been recognised. She puts it as an issue of funding, it’s not an issue of funding – it’s an issue of how you respond to those crimes.
“And I’m pleased to say that my Right Honourable friend, the Policing Minister, held a round table on exactly this issue yesterday to look at how we can ensure that the police are responding fully to it.”
May appears to have taken Haigh’s comment to refer to the moped-enabled crimes that are prevalent across the Capital. However, Haigh is also a fervent campaigner against the antisocial use of off-road bikes in her own constituency. She is behind a campaign calling the Government to aid South Yorkshire Police in tackling the issue.
A statement on her website reads: “Over the last two years problems with off-road bikes have been blighting the lives of local people across Sheffield. Bikers riding illegally, causing antisocial behaviour and threatening people are not only disturbing communities but ruining the reputation of off-road bikers who want somewhere to ride.
“As your MP and the Shadow Policing Minister I've heard countless stories of the problems caused using off-road bikes, and have been helping the police take action but South Yorkshire Police need proper resources and commitment from the Government to help them tackle this issue - join me in calling for action by signing this petition.”