Police guidelines for moped crime ‘out of touch’ says Bob Neill as home secretary grilled by two Bromley MPs

PUBLISHED: 12:13 17 October 2017

Concerns over moped related crime were raised in Parliament on Monday

Concerns over moped related crime were raised in Parliament on Monday

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Bob Neill and Ellie Reeves put questions to Amber Rudd on Monday

Fears over moped-related crime saw the home secretary grilled by two of the borough’s MPs yesterday.

Speaking in the Houses of Parliament yesterday, Bob Neill warned of “young people” taking off helmets to avoid a chase with police, thus evading capture.

The Bromley and Chislehurst MP’s concerns were backed by fellow borough MP Ellie Reeves, who claimed Penge had seen dozens of motor vehicle thefts and a rise in moped-related crime in the past six months.

With concerns still mounting, a government review has begun, during which Mr Neill asked home secretary Amber Rudd what was being done to stop reduce the two-wheeled crime wave.

He warned: “Cynical and street-hardened young people, such as some in my constituency, are taking off their helmets when the police appear on the scene because they believe that the police will not chase them under the current guidelines. The guidelines are utterly out of ​touch with reality and frustrate police officers who are trying to do their job.”

The cabinet member responded: “We recently brought together motorcycle insurance industry leaders, law enforcement partners, the Local Government Association, charities and representatives from the motorcycle-riding community to have a full and open discussion about the issue. All parties agreed to work together to devise a comprehensive action plan to tackle this type of crime. As a first step, we have announced a review of the law, guidance and practice surrounding police pursuits and response driving.”

In June, Bromley police launched Operation Lexington, a scheme to crack-down on the growing crime trend.

Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge, pointed out crime was continuing to rise, saying: “Over the past six months, 35 motor vehicle thefts and a rise in moped-related crime have been reported in Penge. Many of my constituents are becoming increasingly concerned. What exactly is the department doing to combat such crimes?”

Ms Rudd responded: “We take this matter seriously and we must address it, particularly because such crimes tend to evolve and can hold a fashionable attraction for different communities. That is why we are having this review. That is why we are bringing together the different parties, and I urge her to engage with the process.

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