Police pursuit laws under review to tackle moped crime

Home Office launches review amid officers’ fears they could be prosecuted if chase ends in crash

Police pursuit laws under review to tackle moped crime

THE Government has launched a review of laws around police pursuits to help officers clamp down on scooter-riding gangs.

Police figures show the number of crimes committed using scooters in London has tripled in a year, from 5,145 in the 12 months to June 2016 to 16,158 in the following 12 months.

Yet officers have expressed concerns they could be prosecuted if a chase ends in injury, while offenders sometimes remove their helmets to discourage pursuit.

Policing minister Nick Hurd said: “This Government is determined to get ahead of and tackle emerging threats like motorcycle-related crimes, including those involving mopeds and scooters.

“People must be able to go about their daily lives without fear of harassment or attack and criminals must not think they can get away with a crime by riding or driving in a certain way or on a certain type of vehicle.

“Tackling this emerging crime will take a combined effort from Government, law enforcement, industry partners and civil society.

“However, police have made us aware of the concern among some officers over the legal position when pursuing suspected offenders, including those on mopeds and scooters.

“While it is clearly vital that we protect public safety and that officers are accountable for their actions, it is also important that skilled officers have the confidence to protect the public by pursuing offenders where it is safe to do so.”

The review has been welcomed by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Tim Rogers, the Federation’s lead on the issue, said: “Momentum has been gathering in recent months and this marks a significant step in bringing about the change we feel is necessary.

“Trained professionals are being judged by the same standards as a member of the public in any normal driving situation with no differentiation in law to recognise the professional training emergency response drivers undertake.”