‘We’ve had to put the fear back into the criminal’: Met chief Cressida Dick backs police ramming thieves on mopeds after criticism from Labour’s Diane Abbott
- The Met Police has cut moped crime through tough new measures
- Scotland Yard was praised after releasing footage of the new tough tactic
- Miss Dick has warned that moped thieves should expect the force to ‘come after you’ if they continue to drive irresponsibly
Met Police chief Cressida Dick has warned that moped thieves should expect the force to ‘come after’ them, if they continue their tirade.
Miss Dick has said the force have had to put ‘the fear back into the criminal’ following the announcement that the Met has cut moped crime through tough new methods.
Scotland Yard was praised by Londoners last week after it released footage of its new ‘tactical contact’ method of catching scooter criminals. Detectives explained they only use the technique – which involves tipping thieves onto the ground by driving into their bikes – when the riders become a danger to the public.
However Miss Dick’s backing of the new measures come after Labour’s Diane Abbott slammed the new measures as ‘potentially very dangerous’.
During the interview Cressida Dick (above) praised officers and said ‘they couldn’t be better trained.
Cressida Dick (pictured above) has warned that moped thieves should expect the force to ‘come after’ them
Ms Abbott had tweeted her disdain for the new tactics and said that ‘police are not above the law’.
The Labour frontbencher, who is MP for Hackney, a borough plagued by moped crime, waded into the debate four days after the police announcement. Stats released earlier this year show her constituency has seen more than 3,000 moped-enabled crimes in the last five years.
During an interview on Channel 5 with Julian Druker, Miss Dick reveals she has been shocked at the level of crime across the capital.
Dianne Abbott (pictured above) had tweeted her disagreement with the new measures
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According to Cressida Dick (pictured above) there has been ‘at least one person’ who has broken their arm’ and another who has had ‘some sort of break’.
‘When I started on my first day there was a high level of this crime. I was shocked. And I said we must do more. We must improve. We are going to push this right down, not stand by. One of a multitude of tactics is to have more trained pursuit drivers in these areas.
‘Relatively rarely during pursuits, the pursuit is brought to an end by a supremely well trained driver having assessed all the risks. We’ve had to put the fear back into the criminal.’
Miss Dick praised officers and said ‘they couldn’t be better trained.
‘They’ve been risk assessing it. These are people who have been repeatedly left in no doubt whatsoever that there’s a police car right behind them. If you look over your shoulder and drive on as fast as possible putting the public in danger, you should expect we will come after you and we have had a very small number of injuries.’
According to Dick there has been ‘at least one person’ who has broken their arm’ and another who has had ‘some sort of break’.
‘My officers make life and death decisions every day of the week, they’re very accountable. They make best possible decisions. We are in a risk business.’
Diane Abbott provoked anger online when she criticised the police’s new methods of stopping moped thieves by knocking them over
Ms Abbott was responding to footage released by police of ‘tactical contact’ stop methods
However, despite her harsh stance against moped crime she has admitted that she doesn’t believe the UK should have a heavily armed’ routinely armed police service.
‘However… we have them patrolling, keeping London safe from terrorists, armed gangs and criminals every day. I have no intention of causing armed officers to be routinely walking around the suburbs, except when it might be really necessary.
‘Often young people are friendly, approachable, so rest assured I’m not going to ask firearm officers to do more unless there’s a reason to do it. Huge misunderstanding.’
What is police guidance on ‘tactical contact’?
Police said guidance on the use of vehicles in stopping mopeds is similar to that surrounding the use of force by officers on foot.
Officers are told they can only use force when it is ‘absolutely necessary, reasonable and proportionate’.
Police car drivers have to keep this in mind when deciding whether to crash into a fleeing moped mugger.
Whereas police may have been more reluctant to chase robbers without helmets in previous years, the spike in moped crime has concentrated the minds of Scotland Yard chiefs.
More training for ‘scorpion’ drivers and the increasingly dangerous tactics used by muggers has led to the method being more widely used.
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