What are the Police doing about crime? | On the beat: October 2022


Durham police stop bike theft

I know cops get upset when people say they do nothing about bike crime, but officer by and large want to detect crime, and they want to arrest offenders, so it was great to see this from Durham Police…

After getting reports of an attempt theft of a motorcycle, the cops deployed officers on police bikes, in police cars and in police helicopters; just 34 minutes later they had the suspects in custody. That’s quicker than an episode of The Bill so well-done Durham Police.



Image from @DurhamPolice


Thieves ‘surprised’ by Tactical Contact by Police

Another force doing something about bike crime is Merseyside Police, and more specifically their Matrix Department, comprising of Roads Policing, Disruption, Firearms, Dogs and Horses.

Pursuing a stolen motorbike, officers first used a Stop Stick to deflate the tyres, and then used Tactical Contact to bring everything to a halt. The Tactical Contact was hard enough to leave the front of the BMW pursuing the bike with some newly acquired front-end damage, and the rider and pillion “Surprised to say the least,” according to Merseyside Police. Both rider and pillion were arrested.

Tactical contact comes at the end of a long plan including authorisation from officers and staff not directly involved in the pursuit. It’s not a rash tactic that police forces carry out lightly.



Image from @MerPolTraffic


Traffic cops take down armed thief

Dispelling the myth that Traffic Cops just concentrate on handing out tickets for speeding and small registration plates, officers from the City of London Police Roads Policing Unit spotted a suspicious-looking scooter rider who then failed to stop for them. Enlisting help from the Metropolitan Police and their riders on a couple of BMW GSs, the City Cops soon had the scooter rider stopped, searched and arrested.

The rider was arrested for unauthorised taking of the scooter rather than theft of it, giving false details and having no insurance. Criminals will often use ‘pool bikes’ as a means of getting around; they’re either not reported as stolen or possibly so unidentifiable that the cops can’t accurately say which bike it is. Either way, until officers make enquiries about the bike, its ownership and the details of how the rider came to be riding it, then ‘unauthorised taking’ is the way forward.

But just look at the knife the rider was carrying; 22cm goes a long way into a body, and it shows the level of people who are carrying drugs around.

On another note, the police state the rider was arrested for possession of drugs rather than the more serious offence is possession of drugs with intent to supply and in doing so they’ll be acting on guidelines in the charging process. Have a look at the photo and tell me if you think that these amounts are for personal use or more of a supply amount.


Images from @CityPoliceCops and @MPSRTPC


Speeding rider adds £700 to his fine

When a speed camera (let’s call it what it is) snaps a rider, a Notice of Intended Prosecution is sent out to the registered keeper of the bike asking them to name the rider at the time of the alleged offence. The offence in this instance being one of 50mph in a 30mph area and obstructing the police by way of covering the registration plate with his hand, which didn’t work as the cops managed to trace the bike anyway.

All being well the registered keeper usually sends back the letter stating the name of the rider, however Mr Kramer from Slough – the registered keeper in this case – decided not to tell the police who was riding the bike at the time. In doing so it completes the offence of failing to nominate a driver, which is a separate offence to the original one the police were asking about.

In this case – according to Surrey Road Cops – Mr Kramer would have been eligible for a £100 fine and three points on his licence, but the course of action he decided on ended up with six points on his licence and a whopping £800 fine.

There’s lots of reasons that people don’t nominate drivers, but it’s important to know that even if a Notice of Intended Prosecution arrives late for the police to take action for the stated offence, the registered keeper still has to nominate a driver and send the NIP back to avoid a separate offence.



Image from @SurreyRoadCops


130mph in front of a police car

With the cost of living rising, the subject of riding without insurance has cropped up in a couple of posts from different Police forces.

Surrey Police stopped a rider who had cancelled their policy because they said they couldn’t afford the premium and in dealing with the rider, they seized the scooter. Meanwhile Merseyside Police stopped a rider who had just been seen ‘stretching the legs’ as the officers put it, of a Suzuki GSX-R at 130mph in front of a marked police car. The rider on this occasion had neither insurance nor the correct licence, meaning that the bike was seized.


Images from @SurreyRoadCops and @MerPolTraffic


Riding without Insurance

Regardless of the circumstances, the Road Traffic Act is pretty tight on the requirement for insurance and a driving licence while riding on the road.

Section 87 of the act says that a person must hold a licence for the category of vehicle they are driving on the road, while section 143 says that a person must not ride on a road or other public place without valid insurance.

Section 163 gives the officers the legal right to stop a rider, and section 164 gives the officer power to require a rider to provide evidence of a driving licence. Section 165 provides the police with the necessary rights on the insurance front.

It all comes together in section 165A which gives the police the power to seize a vehicle being driven where the rider has no licence or insurance. If the rider in the cases above had failed to stop then the police can still seize the bike if they see it again within 24 hours.

Riding with no insurance comes with a £300 fine and six penalty points by way of a fixed penalty, but if the matter goes to court it gives way to an unlimited fine and possible disqualification. Even the six points by way of a fixed penalty means a new rider will have to take a retest.

I’ve dealt with drivers before where they didn’t have insurance, but the passenger had insurance to drive the car and so after dealing with the driver there was no need to seize the vehicle and I let the other driver take it away. If a bike does get seized though, the costs for the recovery truck and storage at the pound can mount up quickly. The charges are set by the Government, not the Police, and are £150 for a two wheeled vehicle, plus £10 per day storage.

I’ll leave you this month with a quiz… Wiltshire Police stopped this and found the rider didn’t have any insurance although they did have plenty of other stuff. I can see a motorbike, a pedal-bike and a top-box, but I’m not sure what the other things are on this load. Answers in the comments please.



Image from @WiltsSpecOps