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Home Secretary Sajid Javid backs police knocking suspects off mopeds

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Sajid Javid has backed police over controversial new tactics which have seen suspects knocked off their mopeds.

The Home Secretary said the “risk-assessed tactical contact” is “exactly what we need”.

He was responding to Labour criticism following videos released by Scotland Yard last week, which showed police vehicles ramming moped riders from their bikes and to the ground, sometimes at speed.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott condemned the practice, saying “knocking people off bikes is potentially very dangerous. It shouldn’t be legal for anyone. Police are not above the law.”

Metropolitan Police say the videos they released show the tactics used by specially trained drivers, to reduce the need for pursuits and prevent injury.

They also stressed that there is no maximum speed for police cars to hit mopeds and said the commonly held belief that officers cannot pursue suspects if they drive dangerously or remove their helmet is not true.

It is hoped the tough approach will act as a deterrent.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is investigating three cases of “tactical contact” involving police and scooters.

Last year, a teenager was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries after a pursuit.

Moped mugger hit by copper
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Suspects on mopeds are being pursued and rammed by police

Concerns have also been raised over the risk to police officers, with Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, worrying that officers could risk their “livelihood and liberty” if someone being pursued was seriously hurt.

Fears over “moped muggings” have soared in recent years. An estimated 22,000 moped muggings occured in London in the year until June, double the amount of the previous year.

Comedian Michael McIntyre was robbed of a Rolex worth thousands of pounds by a moped rider, while Sajid Javid had his phone stolen.

However, the last few months have seen a drop in recorded offences.

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