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TACTICAL STOP: Knocking criminals off bikes a ‘weapon in the armoury’

TACTICAL STOP: Knocking criminals off bikes a ‘weapon in the armoury’

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse on a tour of the Newport ward in Middlesbrough, Ian Cooper/Teesside Live

A councillor has suggested police should be making more use of “tactical stop” powers to take down rogue motorbikers.

Councillor Steve Nelson said the public were concerned about the criminal use of motorbikes and the dangers they posed to safety.

The Stockton councillor asked Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner if police officers employed by the force were aware that tactical stops could be used and said they were a “weapon in the armoury”.

Tactical stops, also known as tactical contact, began being used by the Met Police in London in 2018 in order to foil suspected criminals on mopeds which were plaguing the capital.


Police in London began using tactical stops in a bid to stem motorbike crime, Image: Met Police

It involves using appropriately trained police drivers to make deliberate contact with mopeds and motorbikes ridden by suspected criminals so a pursuit can be brought to an end.

In 2019 the Independent Office for Police Conduct updated guidance given to chief constables in England and Wales.

It was aimed at helping officers weigh up the risks in fast-moving situations so they can carry out stops effectively, and at the same time offer reassurance to the public that the tactic was being used as safely and proportionately as possible.

The guidance also reinforced that the use of the tactic must be authorised, while the severity of the suspected offence and the likelihood of causing injury to the riders, others and officers themselves should also be weighed up.

Mr Turner, speaking at a recent police and crime panel meeting, said the tactic was already in use by the force and highlighted a presentation he said was given to Home Secretary Priti Patel and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse on recent visits to Teesside.

He said: “Part of that presentation was a tactical stop involving armed response vehicles which knocked two individuals off a moped, seized a number of weapons from them and made two arrests.”

Mr Turner added: “All of our trained officers are aware that they can use that power if they need to.”


Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter

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