Stunning new footage shows police knocking moped muggers off their bikes in fresh tactics to stamp out the scooter crime-wave that has plagued London.
Dashcam video released today shows a squad of specially trained drivers carrying out so-called ‘tactical contacts’, which involve tipping crooks off their scooters or dumping them on the bonnets of police cars.
One incredulous rider raises his hands in indignation after he is sent clattering to the ground, and another told police: ‘I took my helmet off so I thought you’d stop chasing me.’
The Met says it only uses the tactic as a last resort to stop muggers who are a risk to pedestrians or putting police in danger.
Police say they are now carrying out ‘tactical contacts’ every day and have used the method 63 times so far.
Sergeant Tony McGovern, who is one of the specially-trained ‘Scorpion’ drivers using the tactic, said: ‘They think that if they remove their helmets we’ll stop the pursuit, sometimes we may but, as you can see, we have used tactical contact against riders without helmets.’
He said police drivers have to quickly weigh up the risk to the public and the rider before carrying out the maneuvers, as fleeing criminals often ride along busy pavements or behind railings to evade capture.
The method has been rolled out around the country after a seemingly-unstoppable crime wave gripped the capital this year, with scooter yobs grabbing people’s phones, watches, and bags, smashing their way into jewelry shops and stabbing anyone who got in their way.
Some moped robbers have hit 30 victims in one hour alone, with those coming out of tube stations seen as an easy target. Police officers have also been injured by thieves riding directly into them.
Scotland Yard was previously frustrated in catching the criminals, who often discarded their helmets to make officers think twice before chasing them.
Victims of the spate of incidents included ex-chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and comedian Michael McIntyre, who was robbed of his Rolex by two men on a moped while parked outside his children’s school.
But Scotland Yard chiefs have now vowed to get tough with the gangs as they attempt to take back control of the streets.
Met Commander Amanda Pearson said: ‘There is a perception that if you remove your helmet or fail to stop for police when requested to do so we will not take any further course of action. This is untrue.
‘The public quite rightly expects us to intervene to keep London safe. Our highly trained police drivers weigh up the risks and decide upon the most appropriate tactics in those circumstances.
‘Offenders on mopeds and motorcycles who attempt to evade the police are making a choice that puts themselves and others at risk.
‘So our message is clear: we can, we will and we do target those involved in moped and motorcycle crime at every opportunity.’
The Met says it has cut ‘moped-enabled crime’ by 36 percent in the last year, from 19,000 offenses to 12,500.
Police say from January to October last year there were 19,455 such offenses across London but from January to October this year the numbers had dropped to 12,419 offenses.
And in the same period last year, there were 12,192 moped thefts across London compared to January 2018 to October 2018 when there were 8,261 offenses – a reduction of 32 percent.
Commander Pearson added: ‘We are not complacent and we will continue to work tirelessly across London to maintain this downward trend.’
Commanders say no stop carried out by the operation targeting moped criminals has needed to be referred to the police watchdog, although three incidents involving mopeds are being looked at by the IOPC.
Among the most shocking of the incidents that hit the capital in recent years were those involving Nathan Gilmaney and Troy Thomas, who tried to rob as many people as possible in a quickfire series of robberies.
They killed 28-year-old Abdul Samad for his iPhone and little more than ‘aggression and bloodlust’ as they swept across west London on a scooter.
A chilling video shows Gilmaney and Thomas the criminals calmly return to their victim to demand his PIN number before knifing him.
The pair, from Maida Vale, west London, was jailed for more than 20 years each in June.
Following their arrest, police noticed a 40 percent drop in that type of offending.
Politician turned Evening Standard editor was also hit by moped robbers, who made a grab at his mobile as he left BBC headquarters in Portland Place.
He said: ‘I was physically unharmed but felt shocked and stunned. The incident happened so quickly that I barely registered what had happened until afterward. The scooter was so close that it almost brushed past me. Had it hit me, I have no doubt I would have been seriously injured.’
Footage showed the victim working on her device at the Broad and Bean Cafe in Archway, north London as the helmet wearing thief walks in.
He quickly grabs the computer before running back out of the door and jumping on a waiting moped, which then speeds off. The raid took less than 10 seconds.
Café owner Valbona Sadiku said it was the second time moped robbers have targeted the premises in just three weeks.
She told MailOnline: ‘It’s unbelievable that these moped gangs will now actually enter peoples’ property, it’s gone to another level, it’s horrific.’
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