Many readers of Corps Relay will no doubt share our own concerns regarding the seemingly worsening trend of serious crimes being committed by young riders of Mopeds, who are often accompanied by pillion passengers. In the past week alone, there have been several serious Moped attacks in the London area, including an armed robbery against a watch shop in Fleet Street, and a Moped gang mugging incident a few days ago in the Liverpool Street area.
So what can be done to deter such attacks? And what can be done to mitigate the impact of such attacks when they take place?
These questions have perplexed the Police service too, and in recent weeks the Met Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, outlined a number of steps that the Met will be taking. Commissioner Dick has said that the theft of mopeds and their use in snatching mobile phones or spraying acid on victims has helped to fuel what she described as “a trend, not a spike” in violent crime.
Moped thefts have increased dramatically in the past two years: in October, 2015, thieves stole 1,009 mopeds in the capital. In April this year they stole 1,598, a rise of 60%.
Significantly, some suspects have practised their crime, of riding up to victims and snatching their phones. iPhones are a popular target and, if stolen while in use and unlocked, can be wiped, reprogrammed and sold on the black market for £200.
Such attacks have mostly been carried out by two people on one bike, with the pillion passenger snatching the phone.
The latest steps by the Met to address the trends include the following:
- The Police will continue to pursue escaping Moped thieves, even if they take off their helmets. People think if they take off their helmets the police will cease pursuits but that is not the case
- The Met has doubled the number of pursuits and that will continue, particularly with the introduction of new bikesOfficers have been issued with new, faster and lighter motorbikes on which to pursue suspects. Crucially, the new bikes have no bulky panniers which have, in the past, stopped pursuits along very narrow streets
- Police have been issued with remote-controlled “pro-spikes” which shoot out rows of metal spikes to puncture suspects’ tyres, like the “stingers” used to stop cars
- A new tagging spray, with a unique DNA code, is being used on suspects and their Mopeds so they can be linked forensically to their crimes
The Met is also stating that in the past three months their new tactics have reduced moped thefts by 25% and Moped-enabled crime by 24%.
For our readers the trend may seem to be increasing, rather than decreasing, so what can we all be doing to deter, and mitigate the effects of such attacks?
Steps we can all take include the following:
- Ensure that all of your staff/colleagues are made aware of the threat from Moped crime and gangs
- Make vigilance, and awareness of the threat a top business priority (mobile phones and all portable devices are at risk)
- Remember! Moped gangs/individuals are often armed, sometimes with firearms, or knives/machetes, or acid!
- Keep plenty of cool water available at Reception points so that any victims of acid attacks can be treated by trained first-aiders
- Advise staff and colleagues not to use mobile phones when walking along streets
- Ask all of your colleagues to be ‘spotters’ for unusual activity by Moped riders – look out for riders dressed in all black clothing and wearing helmets when dismounting from their machines
- Be aware of any pre-attack hostile reconnaissance! Moped gangs will frequently conduct such reconnaissance to:
- learn about their targets
- identify opening and closing hours
- discover if security teams are deployed
- identify whether CCTV is operating
- establish whether Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (e.g. blockers; bollards) is in place
- Have you installed Panic Alarm Buttons? If so, when did you last test them?
- Do you have lock down procedures?
- Report all suspicious activity, especially by youths who may loitering around your premises
Additional ‘Top Tips’:
- Restrict both pedestrian and vehicular access to your premises to authorised persons and vehicles only
- Maintain a good flow of intelligence and information, including close liaison with local Police
- Have the right calibre of trained people in place, including well trained Security teams
- Carry out regular tests (including Penetration Tests) and drills of all security and safety systems
- Implement both internal and external security audits
- Ensure that Contingency and Emergency plans are in place and are easily accessible for all relevant personnel
- Always ensure that Security teams are alert to suspicious behaviour and activity in or around your subject premises or environment!
- REMEMBER! It is vital that Access Control and anti-tailgating measures are as robust as possible, and that unauthorised persons are not allowed to gain access to your premises!
|The current threat level from international terrorism for the UK was decreased on 27th May 2017 and is now assessed as SEVERE
|The threat level for Irish related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain
In Northern Ireland it is SEVERE and in Great Britain it is SUBSTANTIAL
Everyone should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the Police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline on:
0800 789 321
You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…
The following telephone numbers may be useful:
- Corps Security Central Support 0141 847 2044
- Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters 07773 320234
Editor: Mike Bluestone
Associate Editor: Emma Brooksbank