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Moped Crime

Volume 636: debated on Monday 26 February 2018

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who is standing up for his constituents in Sutton by asking this question. The Government have drawn up a comprehensive action plan with the police, motorcycle and insurance industry leaders, local councils, charities and representatives of the motorcycle riding community to focus on the causes of moped-enabled crime, and on what works and what needs to be done to prevent these crimes.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Does she agree that the police already have the necessary legal powers to tackle this issue, and that what is important for the Londoners across the 32 London boroughs who are increasingly becoming victims of this crime is that the Government should continue to work with the Met police and the Mayor of London to ensure that those existing powers are used more effectively to tackle this scourge?

I agree that the police have the powers they need, but those powers need to be used in conjunction with charities, local authorities and so on to ensure that we have a thorough response to the problem. We are reviewing the law, guidance and practice around pursuits, because there are concerns about the policy and because we want to be sure that the current arrangements provide the right legal protections for officers who pursue offenders. We will publish the outcome of the review shortly.

I represent a relatively low-crime area that has seen a big increase in moped crime, so what are the Government doing to support the campaign among petrol station owners to stop serving masked riders?

One of my first meetings shortly after my appointment was with the Petrol Retailers Association. Of course, we have to consider all sorts of measures to see what will work, which is why it is so key that our action plan involves not just law enforcement and councils, but those who ride their motorbikes quite legitimately.

This is not just about mopeds; scrambler bikes and quad bikes are terrorising parts of my constituency. In Maesteg and Caerau, riders on these bikes are chasing people and blocking them from gaining access to public rights of way. What more can the Minister do to try to tackle the scourge not just of mopeds, but of the other types of off-road bikes that can access footpaths and pavements?

We are keen that police forces collaborate on crimes enabled by mopeds and other smaller vehicles. For example, the Metropolitan police is now using DNA sprays, and we have great hopes that that will help to catch offenders. Such measures should be shared around constabularies to ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

I must say that I feel considerably better informed about the moped situation now than I was five minutes ago. I hope that colleagues feel the same.