Met Cracks Down On Two Wheeler Crime

Discounted security offered to moped & motorcycle owning residents

The Met is cracking down on powered two wheeler enabled crime with the help of the motorcycle industry association in a new awareness raising campaign aimed at bike owners.

Today, Tuesday 14 July and tomorrow, Wednesday 15 July, officers will be attaching handlebar hangers at hotspots across the capital that provide advice on security and offer owners the chance to get a free Oxford Products disc lock and discounted Datatag system for a limited time period.

The hangers will also encourage riders to invest money in buying the best quality locks on the market in order to gain the best security in the longer term.

During the first two days of the campaign, Datatag will also be in attendance on the boroughs of Wandsworth and Camden to offer free fitting of their Scooter Security System, which owners can purchase at a discounted price.

These two boroughs are among the ten in the Met most adversely affected by this issue, the others being: Lambeth; Southwark; Hackney; Haringey; Newham; Islington; Westminster; and Kensington & Chelsea.

There were in excess of 9,900 moped, scooter and motorcycles reported stolen across London in the 12 months from April 2014 to March 2015. This equates to around 27 powered two wheelers (PTWs) being stolen in London every single day. It is difficult to determine the overall cost of PTW associated crime to victims, but if an average value of £3,000 is applied to each moped, scooter or motorcycle stolen, then the total theft value during the last financial year is more than £28 million.

Criminals steal PTWs to commit other crimes such as other vehicle theft, robbery, serious youth violence, and gang related incidents. Mobile phone crime and 'snatch' from thieves on bikes/mopeds are also a particular problem in certain areas. Monthly figures for moped/motorbike associated crimes committed this year are showing an increase, from 241 in January to 392 in June.

Intelligence suggests that organised crime groups are targeting new high powered motorbikes which can cost up to £15,000, and be broken down into parts and re-sold. These are usually stolen by being lifted into the back of vans, the cutting of chains, forcing and breaking of steering locks to wheel away, or sometimes even by using the propulsion of another scooter. Using the latter method, thieves do not need to start the engine and they will often go to dangerous lengths to keep the stolen vehicle moving, including driving through red lights, and using pedestrian and cycle paths.

In the main, lower powered two wheelers are stolen by conventional hot-wiring techniques. The suspects will then drive the moped or scooter away and use it for a short period for joy-riding or as a getaway vehicle in commercial or personal robberies.

It is therefore vital that owners need to take extra care to deter criminals, prevent easy removal and aid vehicle identification. The MPS is engaging with local dealers of PTW vehicles to make them aware of the issues and what is being done to tackle it, and urging them to ensure they always advise customers about locks and security in general.

Detective Superintendent Raffaele D'Orsi, lead for Operation Venice, the Met's response to PTW and enabled crimes said:
"The MPS is committed to detecting, disrupting and arresting those involved in moped and motorcycle theft and enabled crime. The police, the motorcycle industry, and riders must do everything possible to prevent the activity of those involved in these offences. We are already working with industry to make these vehicles harder to steal, but I urge all riders to also improve the security of their vehicles. By everyone playing their part, we can thwart the thieves who steal these vehicles to perpetrate further crimes."

Steve Kenward, acting Chief Executive Officer of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), said:
"The MCIA are very pleased to be able to support the Met Police in tackling scooter enabled crime. By taking simple steps to secure their machines, riders in the capital can do their bit as well as help the wider campaign of raising awareness."

Under Operation Venice during the last few months, officers have been conducting targeted operations, mass checks on parked up mopeds, raids on individuals suspected of stealing PTW vehicles or using them to commit crimes, high visibility patrols in key areas, ANPR deployments and provision of free locks to owners at motorcycle parking bays.

Steps PTW owners can take to reduce the risks of theft:

Parking - choose designated parking with a stand and security loop, or if this is not available try areas with lots of people, good lighting and CCTV. Secure the back wheel of motorbikes or mopeds rather than the front wheel as front wheels are generally easier to remove.
Locks - use more than one lock, focusing on disc locks and chain locks, fitted tight to the bike and through difficult to remove parts.
Time - when leaving your bike for a long period or overnight, lock it to something secure and use a motorbike cover. At home consider using fitted anchors to secure your bike.
Attention - use audible alarms where possible to draw unwanted attention to the thieves.
Marking - choose to mark your bike parts with the vehicle identification number (VIN) number, your postcode or registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen or property marking kit.
Insurance - some companies will offer discounts on your insurance if you invest in certain security measures, so ask before you make your purchase.

July 14th, 2015