Theresa May backs ‘robust’ police tactics against moped criminals
Theresa May has backed ‘robust’ new police tactics to target moped criminals.
The Prime Minister said the controversial new tactics were needed to tackle the growing use of mopeds to commit robberies and muggings.
Last week the Metropolitan police released footage showing police cars ramming drivers off their vehicles in a bid to reduce the risk to the public from a lengthy chase.
Speaking to reporters in Argentina during her visit for the G20 summit, she said: “These people on these mopeds are acting unlawfully and committing crimes and I think it’s absolutely right that we see a robust police response to that.
“Moped crime has been an issue of concern for some time now, as it has been growing in certain areas, in particular in London
Her comments follow concerns from Labour Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott who hit out at the new tactics, saying: “Knocking people off bikes is potentially very dangerous. It shouldn’t be legal for anyone. Police are not above the law.”
But Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who was himself the victim of a moped mugging, slammed Ms Abbott for the remarks.
“No…Risk-assessed tactical contact is exactly what we need. Criminals are not above the law,” he tweeted.
The Metropolitan police said the footage showed the tactics being used by specially-trained drivers but that there was no maximum speed for police cars to hit thieves.
They warned that it was a misconception that officers would stop pursuing a moped criminal if they drove erratically or removed their helmet during a chase.
Figures released by the force showed a fall of 36% in reported moped offences since officers started using the tactic earlier this year.