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Funding is available to tackle the moped gangs

Police Crime Commissioners and the Mayor of London have access to special funds for dealing with exceptional events, such as the significant rise in motorcycle related crime, featuring moped gangs.

The rise in motorcycle related crime has been directly attributed to so-called, ‘no chase’ policies – the very limited circumstances under which a police officer can pursue a suspect on a motorbike.

That isn’t the full story. Even if the rules were to change, there wouldn’t be enough officers on patrol capable of stopping the current epidemic that affects London and to a lesser extent other sizeable cities across the UK.

The police are significantly under-resourced. This isn’t a political point, it’s a fact. The Government has already been warned that the 25% cuts in police funding, with more to follow, could lead to a breakdown of public order. We would argue that, in the case of the moped gangs stealing bikes, smartphones and purses almost without any fear of being caught, this is already happening.

With the current allocation of funding, most forces can rightly argue there simply isn’t the money to put together a team of sufficient strength and equipment to create a nuisance for the ‘TMAX gangs’ so that they move onto other, less stressful crimes.

Yes there is

Police funding in England and Wales comes directly from Government, mostly direct but also from Local Authorities via Council Tax.

Police funding motorcycle crime
Image © Fullfact.org

Local Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC’s), and in London’s case, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC),  control the budget.

But it is not the only source of funding. There are two others, one of which is specific to London.

PCC’s can apply to the Government for Special Grants

From the Government website:

“Police forces should include within their policing and budget plans reasonable contingencies for unexpected events within their areas. It is, however, recognised that there will be unexpected and exceptional events that could threaten the financial stability of one or more police forces. In these cases, police and crime commissioners (PCCs) can apply to the Home Office for special grant funding to meet additional costs that would be incurred from policing unexpected and exceptional events within their areas.”

It’s not straightforward, there are hoops and criteria to be jumped and navigated through, but in exceptional circumstances – and we argue that the motorcycle enabled crime epidemic, complete with acid attacks and regular stabbings is one of these – the money can be applied for and made available.

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London can use its London Crime Prevention Fund

London is a special case, partly due to its international nature but also because it is home to some of the country’s poorest boroughs, where crime easily breeds.

Since 2013, MOPAC has had access to the London Crime Prevention Fund  an extra pot of money for dealing with special circumstances. One of these is working with London Boroughs affected by youth crime.

Anecdotally at least, but crime figures can be checked, it seems most of the offenders caught are under 25 with the majority under 20 years of age. Some reports have mentioned children as young as 12 involved in motorcycle related crime, if only as joy riders.

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The money is there

It’s not clear how much money can be made available via these Special Grants or the Crime Prevention Fund, but there is money there. Operation Venice, the police operation currently conducted by The Met is so far having to rely on crime intelligence to arrest suspect after the fact.

That is clearly not enough. We have already argued that a number of dedicated, motorcycle-riding squads are needed to operate across cities as a visible and active deterrent.

They don’t need to chase. With enough properly trained officers on bikes, they can pick off and corner individual operators in a gang and take them off the streets for whatever offences they can be done for – whether its handling stolen goods, no licence, no insurance, whatever. Just make their lives a misery and demonstrate that mopeds are no longer the vehicle for easy crime.

If that is not the answer then maybe the Met and other forces have other ideas. What we do know, is that the situation has become urgent. Five motorcycle riders attacked with acid in one night says so.

It’s time for the PCC’s and the Deputy Mayor for Police and Crime in London to get the money in and give it to the police so they can do their jobs.

Get yourself sorted:

PCC’s can be put under pressure by your local MP. We’ve provided a link through to your MP in this article: https://bikerandbike.co.uk/the-bike-crime-epidemic-part-5-how-you-can-get-no-chase-changed/

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