MET driver faces criminal charges after injuring moped criminal in ram

The 17-year-old was hospitalised with serious injuries following the police officer's use of 'tackle tactics' in November 2017

New Scotland Yard

A MET POLICE OFFICER who injured a 17-year-old when using controversial ‘tackle tactics’ could face criminal charges.

The driver undertook the ‘tactical contact’ in order to prevent the 17-year-old from riding dangerously. However, the youth was not wearing a helmet, and was left with serious head injuries and a broken foot. He was taken to hospital by the pursuing police car – due to an ambulance not being available – and discharged a few days later. He later pleaded guilty at youth court to attempted theft, interference with a vehicle, driving with no licence, driving with no insurance, and dangerous driving.

The incident took place in Erith, south-east London, at around 2:15am on November 7th 2017, less than a month after the Met adopted the tactic. The chase began in Kent, involving local officers and a police helicopter, and when the suspect crossed the border into London, officers from the Met took up the pursuit.

In a landmark case, the police officer has now been interviewed under caution as part of an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IPOC). The investigation is “looking at the circumstances around the authorisation and use of the tactical contact”.

A decision is expected within weeks as to whether the officer should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service to face criminal charges, for an offence such as actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm. He will also face a disciplinary investigation for potential gross misconduct, which could result in dismissal.

Of the case, an IOPC spokesman said: "Ultimately no police tactic can ever be used with impunity in a country where we police by consent - be that tactical contact, the use of firearms or the use of restraint.

"It is always a matter of whether it's reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

"But it would be wrong to offer guarantees in every case. Independent scrutiny is a vital part of public confidence in the way policing is done."

When the police released footage of the controversial tactics a fortnight ago, the public were reassured that these tactics would only be undertaken by trained ‘scorpion’ drivers. The officer in this case was reportedly not a ‘scorpion’ driver, however at the time that stipulation wasn’t necessary.

A second incident in Ealing in March this year, in which a suspect in his 20s suffered a broken leg after a police car knocked him off his moped, is also being investigated, however the officers involved are still being treated as witnesses.

The announcement that officers are being investigated for using the tactic – which was recently criticised by Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbott – has drawn outrage from motorcyclists country-wide.

Facebook group ‘The UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Group’ has launched a petition urging the Government to bring in protection measures for the officers carrying out the rams.

“Please Sign this petition to push the Government to pass the emergency protection driver’s bill and help to protect our police officers when using “Tactical Contact” against moped thieves..,” an admin of the group wrote in a post.

So far, more than 26,000 thousand people have signed.

The tactic has reportedly been used around 60 times since January by the Met in its fight against moped-enabled crime.