Met using innovative new motorbikes to continue to drive down moped crime
In order to continue tackling moped-enabled crime in London, officers from the Met’s Operation Venice team are now using faster and lighter motorbikes to pursue thieves.
The bikes, which are being launched on Friday, 10 January, are part of the fleet of vehicles being used by specially trained ‘scorpion’ officers from Operation Venice – the Met’s dedicated taskforce set up to tackle moped thieves and moped-related crime such as robberies and phone snatches.
The new BMW F750GS-P bikes have been tailored to meet the specific requirements of the specially trained officers who will use them. They are uniquely suited to navigate throughout London, even in some of the narrowest and most difficult roads to travel through – their smaller size and lightweight advantage provide agility, giving a clear tactical advantage to officers chasing moped thieves across London’s busy streets. The bespoke specifications of the design have focused on keeping the motorcycle narrow so that it can operate anywhere and access areas where larger motorcycles simply cannot go.
They have an 850cc twin-cylinder engine, which provides brisk acceleration, and are fitted with the latest generation police sirens and police radio system. The motorcycles have Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) and Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (DESA).
The Met are the only force currently using these bikes and they were purchased for an undisclosed cost.
Chief Inspector Jim Corbett, from the Met’s Operation Venice team, said: “Although my officers have, and continue, to reduce moped-enabled crime, we are not complacent and know that offenders still believe that they can evade capture when they are on their mopeds.
“These new vehicles will allow our specialist drivers to pursue offenders. Their lightweight design has been specially tailored to help us reduce moped enabled crime even further.”
Following a peak of moped-enabled crime in July 2017, there has been a steady fall; virtually a month-on-month fall.
Between December 2017 and November 2018, there were 15,168 mopeds, motorcycles and scooters used in crime. In the same period in 2019 (Dec - Nov 2019) this number has fallen by 42.5 per cent to 8,721.
In the same period, the number of stolen mopeds, scooters and motorcycles has reduced by 12.5 per cent (Dec 2017 - Nov 2018: 9,631 vs. Dec - Nov 2019: 8,426).
Chief Inspector Corbett, added: “Whilst we’re pleased to see the number of stolen vehicles and crimes committed reduce, we are not complacent and call on the public to help us reduce moped-enabled crime even further by informing the police of any suspicious activity and adding additional measures to your bike.
“The new bikes and the help of the public will be instrumental in stopping this type of crime.”
The Met’s 'Lock, Chain Cover' campaign, encourages Londoners to layer up their mopeds and scooters’ security to make lives harder for thieves.
“Our advice for owners is to:
“LOCK: Use a disc lock on the front wheel to stop your bike being wheeled away. Fit a grip lock to the throttle and engage the steering lock.
“CHAIN: Secure the rear wheel with a chain and a padlock. Attach the chain to a ground anchor or other fixed object where possible.
“COVER: Bike covers prevent immediate access to the controls and security features and stop thieves shopping for bike models.”