MAG has questioned the optimism shown by the Home Office Press Release on Moped Crime, pointing out that the underlying national problem of motorcycle theft has been, and looks set to continue being, totally ignored.
MAG has been involved in the Home Office Roundtable process from the beginning and has consistently highlighted flaws in the thought processes of the initiative.
Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, says: “I have consistently pointed out that the problem should not be treated as a London-only issue. It is fair to say that the epidemic in London has displayed its own particular complexion, but we feel that the London-only issue was one that London Police and Crime Commissioner, Sadiq Khan, should have tackled. We entered the process on the assumption that the task force would tackle a national problem of motorcycle theft.
The headline statistic of a 56% reduction in moped offences since July
2017 reflects the enabled crime in the capital, not the numbers of motorcycles stolen. The Met reports that motorcycle theft in London has reduced to the levels of 2015, but there is no sign of any further decrease. The fact that 2015 levels of theft were totally unacceptable is apparently not relevant. Nor do the figures cover any other part of the country. Repeated efforts to get facts for the rest of the country have failed, but we believe that in many areas the numbers are still rising.
The statistics revealed in yesterday’s meeting demonstrate, more than ever before, the validity of our position. DAC McNulty has been able to demonstrate that the initiative so far has dealt very effectively with the London enabled crime imperative, whilst totally ignoring the wider issue. We are bitterly disappointed that the Home Office has allowed this to happen as it simply demonstrates, once again, that the theft of a motorcycle is seen as a victimless crime that can be ignored.”
Regional Rep for Greater London, Tim Fawthrop, said: “Bikers just don’t buy it. We came from the position that simply receiving a crime number for a stolen motorcycle is not enough, yet we find ourselves still in the position where a crime number is the most we can expect as a police response to a report of a motorcycle theft. Motorcycle owners often face violence when riding or trying to prevent theft, but it seems that this is OK provided that their mobile phone wasn’t snatched. This simply is not good enough.” Speaking after the meeting Tim said “I was angry with the way the whole thing focused on the thieves and the victims of phone theft, and had not addressed the primary victim or basic bike security. We know funds are available from the Mayor’s Office but there is nothing to compel the local councils to provide more security.”
Colin Brown added: “The Home Office Press Release mentions that Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, said “I’m excited to see what we can achieve by applying a similar response to vehicle theft.” This implies that the Home Office will continue to measure success based on overall vehicle theft. We are asking that the Home Office rethink its strategy.
Concentrating on generic vehicle theft has been repeatedly proven to allow forces to totally ignore motorcycle theft. Many forces do not record motorcycle theft as distinct from any other vehicle theft and thus are blissfully unaware of the real problem they have. Reducing car theft does not help motorcyclists. We need to see motorcycle theft recorded separately and monitored closely by all forces so that the very real issue does not continue to be overlooked. Once the scale of the problem is revealed there will be nowhere to hide from the fact that the response is woefully inadequate.”
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or firstname.lastname@example.org