OPINION

UK Bike Crime: My English brothers, you’ve got horse thieves!

Alfred Jacob Miller - Snake Indian Pursuing "Crow" Horse Thief

England: I am very distressed about the stories I see in the media about an epidemic of scooter thefts and assaults on the streets of London.

Scooter theft and street violence is causing a change to daily life for the city of London. These attacks have slowed due to winter weather, however I predict that scooter crime could reach epidemic levels come spring and summer. The stumbling Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Mayor Sadiq Khan have let this problem get out of hand.

My English brothers, you’ve got horse thieves!

In the American West, at the height of the Cowboy era (circa 1873), stealing a man’s horse was punishable by hanging, branding, or the lash. For a victim of theft, being left without a horse in the desert was certain death, as a town could easily be a day’s ride (50 to 100 kilometers) or more. This crime was taken so seriously in the United States that offenders were routinely dealt severe prison sentences. More recently, a woman from Arkansas who stole five horses and equestrian equipment in 2011 will spend 60 years in prison. Ouch!

I have a question for the Metropolitan Police and Mayor Sadiq Khan: why aren’t scooter criminals prosecuted more often and more severely? (Only 1.7% of scooter crimes are prosecuted.) One offender threw acid in the faces of unsuspecting victims. Isn’t throwing acid as serious as leaving a man to wander the desert without a horse? In October, a Moped gang robbed over 100 victims in five days. They got 4 years in prison total (2 week per-victim). Many of the offenders have 20-plus crimes to their name, and one 15-year-old was only jailed after being arrested 80 times. A knife-wielding suspect approached and attacked a Met officer’s motorcycle, disabling it. Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick & Mayor Khan: Blue lives matter!

“Many of the offenders have 20-plus crimes to their name, and one 15-year-old was only jailed after being arrested 80 times.” – Michael Minay

Commissioner Dick said she was “pretty confident” the force had a “good handle” on the problem. This issue could have a serious impact on national tourism, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. I can already see the ad campaign to bring back the tourists: “Come Back to London, it’s Safe Again!” The soaring rate of scooter crime went from 8,000 to 24,000 to 50,000 leapfrogging itself in under 2 years. Summer’s coming; at this rate, will there be 100,000 new victims at the end of 2018, will you be a one of them?

Clothing

The London Mayor recently called a council of scooter manufactures to scold them on their product’s lax security measures. Mayor Khan, the horse has left the barn! The Met’s solutions: two “pursuit” BMWs without panniers, some remote control stingers (spike strips), and secret “tracking” spray. While the Met prepared to fight these villains, the black clad criminals stole a BMW pursuit motorcycle right from the front of Metropolitan Police Headquarters. I would remind Mayor Khan and Commissioner Dick: security starts at home! They stole your horse!

WHO IS CRAZY ENOUGH TO STEAL A POLICE BIKE?

“We have brought all our tactics and specialists together to use every ethical option to put a stop to the rise of scooter crime,” the commissioner said. I do not know of anyone more motivated then a teen running from the law on a scooter. The pursued take greater and greater chances until they crash or escape. A high-speed chase could result in injury or death for either party, and the public is put at risk. However, the public is already at risk and your officers are demoralized. The Met seems to equate “ethical” with clean. We have moved far beyond clean. When not pursued, the criminals are emboldened to do whatever they want, anytime they want. Scooter criminals know, if I run = I get away.

The Met should change its pursuit policy to “pursue until captured,” and institute a form of the “broken windows” theory used so successfully to clean up New York City.

“You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don’t have time to think about how many’s with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that’s about to set down on him.”

Pull over scooter riders at any time and database all encounters. If a scooter is found to be stolen, detain the thief until the investigation is resolved. “Stop & Frisk” will enable your pursuit teams to know who is a daily commuter and who might be up to no good. Call it “proactive policing.” Use your CCTV system in real time to communicate to your pursuit teams who to follow and where “potential criminal suspects” might be.

Do you know what the Met needs? An all-electric motorcycle force.

The fleet will be expensive sure, but worth it compared to declining tourist dollars. The Met can’t be penny wise, pound foolish. At least 10 cells (3 riders in a cell) are all on Zero SR’s. Imagine that.

The 3 police riders stay together, taking down one rider as a unit. If that rider escapes, then let’s give our Zeros backup and send in a LIGHTNING LS218, with 200 horsepower.

Make it the “Mad Max Interceptor” of the Met. Seriously, look at that thing; you don’t even have to paint the motorcycle. I would soil myself it that popped up behind me. Silent and stealthy. No one gets away.

I also believe some community outreach would go a long way too.

Go to schools and show your potential adversaries what they are up against! If the average scooter criminal is between 14-19 years old, tell them, “we take your phone away for a year!”, maybe the threat of losing Snapchat privileges will rankle more than a couple of months in detention playing PlayStation?

Respect is the currency of youth, and right now the Met is flat broke. Throw those Day-Glo yellow jumpers in the trash. Dress like the enemy – they will never see you coming.

Now, let’s see you reach to steal my horse!

Good Luck!

Sincerely,
Dana Sterling

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