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Motorcyclist arrested following pursuit

News   •   May 21, 2020 15:43 BST

[Image of recovered motorcycle]

A man suspected of riding motorbike under the influence of cocaine, at 180mph, and across four police jurisdictions was one of two men arrested by the Met’s Op Venice Command. 

On Wednesday, 20 May, officers from the Met’s Operation Venice Command safely concluded two separate high-speed pursuits that commenced in Haringey, during one of which the suspect was travelling at 180mph and led to a pursuit across four different police forces.

Operation Venice had been deployed to the borough of Haringey, when a high-powered motorcycle made off from a number of units.

The rider rode off at speed, on several occasions, running through red lights and mounting the pavement in order to try and evade capture.

During the pursuit, officers were authorised to use slow speed tactical contact which was successful in dismounting the rider, who then fled on foot. As he ran, he was seen throwing away items he had with him.

Officers caught up with him, detained, and arrested him on suspicion of failing to stop for police, aggravated theft of the motorcycle, and possession with intent to supply cannabis. He was taken into custody at a north London police station.

Once they had taken the first suspect into custody, the team returned back to patrolling in Haringey.

Second pursuit: At approximately 21:20hrs, a number of high-powered motorcycles cut across the path of Venice officers in the Wood Green area, making off at speed.

As units emerged onto Green Lanes, now travelling southbound, they could see there was a very small plate on one of the high powered bikes, this later prove to be a false registration plate.

Officers made progress to catch up with the bike but could see it was accelerating and making off into the distance. Officers activated blue lights and sirens in order to catch up with the rider, however it continued accelerating. 

It was suspected the motorcycle could be stolen. 

As the motorbike and officers continued southbound on Green Lanes, units were satisfied that the high-powered motorcycle rider was now aware of police presence and was failing to stop, and this was now a pursuit. Units had their sirens and blue lights activated and were in fully marked police BMWs. 

As the pursuit continued south on Green Lanes, the motorcycle braked very hard and then took an immediate left hand turn into St Ann’s Road, riding well in excess of the 20mph speed limit. Officers requested assistance from the police helicopter.

As units continued east bound on St Ann’s Road, the motorcycle travelled through multiple red lights, on the wrong side of the road and riding at speeds in excess of the speed limits. 

Speaking about the pursuit, the arresting officer, Police Sergeant Tony McGovern, said: “This was dangerous and reckless riding where the rider put himself and other innocent members of the public at risk of serious injury or even death. 

“The rider was wearing a helmet but no protective clothing on his body and wearing shorts. As the pursuit continued all the way down St Ann’s Road the rider went straight through every red light that he was confronted with and rode on the wrong side of the road in his attempts to get away, sometimes mounting pavements.”

When the pursuit reached the A10 the motorcycle turned left, now travelling northbound towards Tottenham. As it continued north up the A10, Tactical Pursuit and Containment Cars (TPAC cars) lost sight of the motorbike but they had scrambled the police helicopter from the National Police Air Service (NPAS).

Seconds later, the officers heard that NPAS were now tracking the motorbike. It was reported that the bike was still being ridden dangerously and at speed. The NPAS operator had sighted the motorcycle on Lordship Lane and it was travelling at up to 70mph in a 20mph zone, and overtaking other vehicles.

NPAS also communicated that the bike was travelling at speeds of 100mph and generally continuing north. 

PS McGovern, added: “This was highly dangerous and the rider was doing this without any police units anywhere near him and his actions were putting his own, and innocent members of the public’s lives in danger.”

The air pursuit continued and the motorbike then headed for A406 at speeds of 90mph. The pursuit continued westbound around the A406 and then towards the M1 motorway at J1, where the motorbike was reaching speeds of up to 130mph. 

Once on the M1 heading northbound towards Hertfordshire the bike was travelling at more than 150mph. As it continued along the M1 motorway, NPAS reported the motorcycle was riding at speeds of up to 130mph and entering Hertfordshire Constabulary’s jurisdiction. 

The rider left the Hertfordshire district and entered Bedfordshire Police’s jurisdiction where NPAS reported the rider was hitting speeds of 180mph.

He then made his way into Buckinghamshire Police’s force area, where he rode the wrong way along the M1’s hard shoulder to enter a service station in order to refuel.

Op Venice officers managed to make it to the service station before the vehicle could refuel. Pursuit vehicles safely stopped the motorbike on the forecourt of the petrol station to prevent the rider from riding off.

The incident lasted more than 30 minutes. The rider was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, theft of a motorcycle, failing to stop for police, driving other than in accordance with a licence and no insurance. He was further arrested on suspicion of being over the prescribed limit for drugs, namely cocaine.

He was taken back to a police station in north London and has since been released under investigation.