Hmmm… this sounds strangely familiar.
Offences involving scooters and mopeds have rocketed in London, but the epidemic is yet to spread to the rest of the UK.
There are two parts to the crime wave – the theft of the scooters themselves and the offences for which they are used.
The Met says that between July 2016 and June 2017 there were 14,943 thefts of “powered two-wheel vehicles”, the vast majority of which were scooters.
The total represents more than 50% of all vehicles stolen in London and is up almost 30% on the previous year.
Dr Harding says although some stolen scooters are stripped for parts or shipped abroad (the average value of each machine stolen is estimated to be £3,000) the main attraction for the gangs is the ability to use them to carry out drug deals and commit other crimes – sometimes as many as 10 in the space of an hour.
The number of such offences recorded by police in London has more than trebled in a year.
An officer embarking on a car chase with criminals on a scooter has to seek authorisation from their control room. A tactical adviser will be on hand and the operation will be overseen by a chief inspector. They will weigh up the risks of the pursuit against the seriousness of the offence of which the rider is suspected.
Police will consider if the suspect might be a danger to the public and if they are on their way to carry out more crimes, as well as conditions on the road – the weather, the time of day and whether there is a lot of other traffic.
So London has a police policy that makes chasing scooters almost impossible, so the crooks have taken to stealing them and using them to commit other crimes. Sounds a lot like Milwaukee, eh? It’s amazing how human behavior stays consistent regardless of which side of the pond we’re on.