Are motorcycle crime figures levelling out?

Published: 08 November 2017

The Metropolitan Police have reportedly stemmed the number of scooter-related crimes in London. Following what rapidly become an epidemic in the capital, the big question has been how to best tackle the problem.

New tactics employed by the Met involve using forensic tagging, mobile remote-controlled stingers and four BMW F700GS motorcycles in the fight against scooter and motorcycle-related crime. There has also been a campaign to get motorcycle and scooter owners to use better and more adequate security when parking their machines in the capital.

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“I was angered by the apparent perception amongst some criminals that they could operate with near impunity, committing strings of offences using scooters,” said Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick. 

"We have brought all our tactics and specialists together to use every ethical option to put a stop to the rise; arrest those responsible; disrupt offenders; dismantle the criminal markets that make these offences lucrative and change the public's behaviour to make them a part of our effort."

The Met is reporting that between the months of July and September, there was a 25% reduction in the theft of powered two wheelers following an exponential rise over the past two years.

However, this figure might not be as good as it first appears, with Tracker reporting last month that autumn is the prime time of the year for motorcycle and scooter thefts. The security device company reported that nearly a third of all motorcycles recovered in 2016 were stolen in the autumn months, meaning that the reported stem in theft might just be the calm before the storm.

Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker said, “Our figures show that autumn sees the highest increase in the number of bikes stolen and recovered, closely followed by the winter months. Over £687,000 worth of scooters and motorcycles were recovered in 2016, an increase of 9.2% from the previous year.”

Scooters are often easily stolen before being used in further, more violent crime afterwards. It has seen some vicious attacks on innocent riders and bystanders as thieves use the stolen vehicles to commit offences. The culprits often ride without helmets under the false assumption that police won't pursue suspects following the death of 18-year-old Henry Hicks when he was being chased by two unmarked police cars.

Encouragingly however, the number of scooter-related crimes carried out in the capital has also fallen by 24% in the same time frame as the theft stats. Autumn and winter statistics will be the real test of the Met’s new initiatives when comparable year-on-year figures are released.

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