South Yorkshire Police kick us off in style this month as we take a quick snapshot of some of the motorcycle / scooter related crimes of the past month.
Ever since police forces realised that tactical contact with a motorcycle doesn’t automatically mean a referral to the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct), some have been implementing tactics to carry it out. The force posted a video that shows how good planning can pay off: using unmarked cars, officers spotted three off-road bikes being ridden at speed on pavements in the area. Instead of going for a pursuit, the officers put into place pre-authorised tactics.
The term ‘pre-authorised’ is important; it means the cops have had to come up with a well-rounded and reasoned plan to stop any further riding, and have that plan agreed by a supervising officer. The first option in any pre-planned operation where a pursuit might occur is to stop the pursuit from happening in the first place. And South Yorks have certainly done that.
Notice how one of the unmarked cars was already in place but the officer didn’t take any action until enough resources were in place to stop any pursuit from taking place. One rider – a 21-year-old male – was summonsed as a result of the stop and will appear in court in relation to driving whilst disqualified and no insurance.
Video from South Yorkshire Police
Surrey Road Cops with a case of spot the number plate had some people kicking off in a different way, with lots of comments about ‘haven’t the police get anything better to do’ versus the ‘all bikes are bad’ brigade. The position of the plate below is clearly illegal as it must be fixed vertically or in a position as close to the vertical as is reasonably practicable.
There are additional requirements in relation to the distance the plate can be read but, in this case, we can see that the position of the plate fails at the first hurdle and the rider might as well have had a ‘stop me’ flag flying from a pole. The ticket will be £100 but it doesn’t carry any penalty points with it.
Separately, Devon and Cornwall’s No Excuses Team told us they had stopped a rider with a tiny reg plate and altered exhaust. they didn’t show us any pictures of his ‘stop me flag’, but in stopping the rider they found him to be under influence of cannabis. He’ll get a ban and we’ll be all the better for one less drug rider on the road.
Image from Surrey Roads Policing
Nottinghamshire Police are using drones alongside specialist officers on trail bikes to combat nuisance riders who are damaging farmland. Inspector Hayley Crawford, district commander for Bassetlaw, said: “People in Carlton in Lindrick raise off-road bikes as an issue repeatedly, and this operation was about responding to their concerns.”
Using the drones negates the need for helicopters, which are expensive, but local incidents like these are ongoing and cause massive concern to local communities. Invariably, riders like these bring motorcycling into the spotlight in a bad way, but Notts police say they gained valuable intelligence in the operation that should help them in the future.
Images from Nottinghamshire Police
We’ve all heard stories of the stats for how many collisions motorcycles can be involved in, but did you know that these don’t take into account the circumstances?
Looking at this collision we can only see the back of one scooter, but the police officer attending the scene from Hampshire Police will have filled out what’s called a ‘Stats 19 form’, which enables the government to keep a count of injuries received by motorcyclists that they then publish in the yearly accident report.
The thing is, these bikes are in a park and at least one is stolen. Unless the fact that this is a stolen bike is relevant to the collision, that won’t be counted as a cause of the crash.
One of the riders has been taken to hospital and if they are admitted, regardless of the injuries, they will go down in the figures as a serious injury to a motorcyclist and placed in the same category as you and I if we were to be injured.
The point is, this collision wouldn’t happen to the vast majority of us because we wouldn’t be dicking around on a stolen scooter in a public park.
Image from Hampshire Roads Policing Unit
Hampshire Police also took the opportunity to show us their choice of trail bike with its blue lights fitted. While it’s not a high-speed pursuit bike, the Honda CRF300 Rally can definitely get to places that more traditional police bikes can’t.
I’m not sure it was in the Honda design brief of the CRF300 (and its 250cc predecessors), but these motorcycles fit the bill when it comes to tackling anti-social behaviour. The blue lights are a great addition, helping the general public see that it’s the police on patrol, and if you’ve got teams like this where you live it sort of shows that the police are listening to you.
The Police spend their money dealing with local priorities, and if enough people complain about it, anti-social riding becomes a priority they deal with.
Video from Hampshire Roads Policing Unit
Chasing stolen bikes and using tactical contact used to be such a taboo in the police, so it’s good to see that some forces can go the extra mile, come up with a strategy, and have the staff to implement it.
Officers from Hampshire Police spotted this stolen KTM and took action to stop it once the rider had made the decision to ride on the pavement, bringing all the obvious dangers to people who were just getting on with their lives.
We looked at what it takes to carry out a pursuit of a stolen motorcycle and asked you to make the decisions to see if you would authorise the action in this article – try it for yourself. The KTM will be damaged, but it’s likely already been harmed in the theft. However no one, including the rider, was reported to be injured.
The rider was arrested for theft of a motor vehicle, fail to stop for a police officer, dangerous driving and a drug drive offence.
Image from Hampshire Roads Policing Unit
South Yorkshire Police, again, recovered this stolen scooter, which is all pretty standard stuff in itself. We spoke to Datatag, which confirmed that 6,745 motorcycles and scooters were recovered by the police between January and October in 2021. That equated to 45.7% of stolen motorcycles and scooters.
Even in the first three months of 2022, 2,058 motorcycles and scooters had been recovered which equates to 33% of stolen motorcycles and 41% of stolen scooters, so it’s not just the odd bike that gets recovere. But it is still less than half there are many variables in the theft figures depending on where you live, what you ride and how you secure it.
In an effort to stop that number increasing the thieves had actually put a lock around the front wheel to stop it being recovered or re-stolen. Not quite what the cops had in mind with catch phrase ‘Lock, Chain, Cover’ but the message must be getting through…
Video from South Yorkshire Police
Finally, for this month at least, the rider of a Suzuki GSX-R was caught speeding three times in a few minutes by a Sussex Police road safety camera van. The police said that the person had essentially been doing laps of the area, which isn’t uncommon, hence the reason why the camera van and roads policing units were there.
When he eventually got stopped on his way home, the rider admitted that he didn’t think the cameras could catch bikes. He should have read our article and he would have known different.