Temporary ban on pillions suggested to tackle London scooter gangs

Tactic used in some countries is to ‘temporarily ban the carrying of pillion passengers across whole cities,’ says London Assembly Green member.

A TEMPORARY ban on pillion passengers has been suggested as a way of reducing so-called moped crime in London.

London Assembly Green member Sian Berry said police should consider the measure in robbery hotspots, the Evening Standard reports.

Ms Berry suggested a ban on pillion passengers of "mopeds", the term commonly used by the press when referring to scooter-enabled crime, although often the vehicles used are over 50cc and not distinct from motorcycles under law. It’s not clear how any ban would not also affect motorcycle pillions in practice.

Ms Berry, deputy chairwoman of the assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, said she had raised the idea with senior Met officers.

She said: “A very small number of people are causing large amounts of fear on our streets. I live in a huge hotspot in Camden and resident concern and debate on how to deal with this is running very high.

“A local safer neighbourhood panel chair pointed out a tactic used in some other countries: to temporarily ban the carrying of pillion passengers across whole cities.

Sian Berry

“I’d like to know what people think as I’m really not sure this is right for London. But it’s possible that temporary bans on moped passengers in particular areas would help to identify and better target police action, as anyone defying a ban would know they might be spoken to.”

Asked how any ban would not also affect motorcycle pillions, Ms Berry told Visordown: "I think that’s a really good point. I asked in the PCC whether the police might look into options and possible legal issues like that. Like I said in the Standard I’m not sure it could work."

The suggestion won the support of Adie Kitachi, a motorcycle security consultant for the Motorcycle Action Group. He said: “It’s a good idea. I pillion my partner sometimes but it is not that popular, so I don’t think too many people would be aggrieved.

“What you do get are criminals using high-powered mopeds with a pillion passenger tooled up with weapons.”

Speaking to Visordown, Mr Kitachi said any ban would also affect motorcycle pillions, adding: "My take on it is, it's a very, very small sacrifice when you consider the amount of pillions in London riding regularly is very fractional compared to the amount of motorcyclists on the road. It's a tiny percentage.

"It's a very, very small sacrifice to address a very, very massive, dangerous, growing problem."

Mr Kitachi said it was his own opinion and not necessarily the view of the Motorcycle Action Group.

Commander Julian Bennett of the Met's Territorial Policing said: “We would consider any suggestion or proposals from anyone that might make this type of offence even more difficult to commit. However, any initiative adopted must be proportionate, practical and within current law.”


"My take on it is, it's a very, very small sacrifice when you consider the amount of pillions in London riding regularly is very fractional compared to the amount of motorcyclists on the road. It's a tiny percentage."

Consider the amount of motorcyclists as a whole is very fractional as well comparing to the other form of transportation, why not ban all motorcycles from London for the sake of noise pollution and crime.

Look at China they've got combustion engine based motorcycles all banned from major cities, now they've got much smoky air and more cars on the street, what a nice thing to bragging about.

blacktiger's picture

Nano X is mad. To ban all motorcycles, Scooters and Mopeds is stupid because they are the key to reducing congestion in cities. They don't cause so much pollution as a car because they can keep moving through the jams. Banning pillions would infringe on the freedoms of the pukka motorcyclists who live in the city and might want to take the wife/girlfriend for a ride out. What would they do, catch a bus and meet somewhere outside the city?

do you now there is a thing called "sarcasm" and "reductio ad absurdum"?

Actually after a 2nd thought I think it will be brilliant to ban all motorcycles from street, you see in that way the only one who rides will be criminals. So much easier to spot criminals. And also because no one is allowed to ride motorcycle, there will be less motorcycles in possession so we can safely assume less motorcycle stealing rate.

What a win-win, we get less bikes nicked, they get easier criminal spotting.

AFKAN's picture

I thought they already considered us to be criminals :rolleyes:

Bluebandit's picture

They break laws without a care. Will one more make a difference to them?

CraigTL76's picture

Sorry...... but banning pillions and stopping any and all 2-wheelers with two people on board? The moped muggers and bike thieves (henceforth called MM&BT so I don't get reported for bad language by calling them what I REALLY think of them!) are ALREADY BREAKING THE LAW IN WORSE WAYS! Do these stuffed shirt politicians really think that THIS one change will make these MM&BT stop and allow themselves to be caught????

They're carrying machetes, spraying acid in peoples faces, riding dangerously with no number plates on stolen peds and RUNNING FROM THE POLICE who barely chase them. They're ALREADY doing illegal stuff left, right and centre, does ANYONE honestly believe that one of these MM&BT will go "It's a fair cop guv!" and pull over for THIS single pathetic rule change when they're already armed to the teeth on stolen peds with pockets full of stolen mobiles? Sorry, don't mean to be insulting but anyone thinking that is just downright naive. The police need to start being able to chase and hunt them down without being in fear for their jobs, pensions and having the sword of Damocles of prosecution hanging over their heads should one MM&BT fall off and have a booboo. Look at everything that followed Henry Hicks killing himself: pockets full or drugs and cash, multiple mobiles full of messages asking if he was holding and drugs and response saying yes he was, stolen ped, runs from the police, wipes out and dies and the police are blamed? Blame the MM&BT CRIMINALS not the POLICE!

Whats needed is legal protection for the police so that if they put the blues and twos on and someone runs from them, whatever bad happens to the runner or the public is laid squarely at the runners doorstep NOT the polices. Oh yeah and more funding so the police actually have the means, manpower, vehicles and backup to actually conduct the pursuits in the first place!

Banning pillions will only affect legal, lawful bikers who actually STOP for the police. The MM&BT will just run as they always do and if the police arent allowed to properly chase them then nothing will change. All this stupid idea will change is more persecution for legal bikers from police.

busker's picture

You need to back up the police with a lot more than the law. Chasing after nutters riding wildly through traffic and city streets is dangerous. You need the right kind of police with the right training to do it. But if a copper has the right stuff for that job he or she is wasted chasing chavs on scooters. Have they offered rewards? The drongos probably have a few enemies.

I believe these scum should be chased (and preferably beaten, off camera) but it's all a matter of liability and potential damage control. If a chase occurred and an innocent bystander was injured... the public would be rightly furious. Which is the overall safer option for the innocents?

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