Motorcycle Crime in London
We Ride London has recently been asked to comment on the spate of violent crime in London and we thought we’d share elements of our response here were some frightening stats.
We are all astonished by the epidemic in London and it seems the police are unable to respond to this crisis. Around 55,000 motorcycles, mopeds & scooters travel into and around London each day with around 135,000 registered inside the M25. In the last 12 months over 15,000 bikes have been stolen - 41 a day! That's nearly 30% of the daily travel volume stolen a year! Can you imagine the outcry if 30% of all cars were stolen each year and many of them by increasingly violent means.
The police are hampered by lack of numbers due to budget cuts, increased bureaucracy and fear of the IPCC if their arrest is deemed to have used disproportionate force. They can't chase bikers without helmets and they can't defend themselves adequately against the 12 inch knifes, hammers and angle grinders. In addition when these criminals are arrested, tried and found guilty, they are usually out on the streets again with a slapped wrist and a paltry fine within weeks.
In our view, there needs more officers on the street and on bikes (driven by more investment), the police need to be able to arrest without fear of sanction and the sentences for offenders needs to be much much tougher. People receive longer terms for speeding.
Over the last few years City Hall has invested nearly £1 billion in bicycle safety. An inspection of the Mayor’s 2017 budget reveals that the Mayor funds 19% of the Metropolitan Police’s budget at a healthy £614M. Diverting funds to the police could have a material impact to crime in London. £100M could fund an extra 1,800 police officers!
Insurance premiums are soaring in our capital and this, along with the other schemes We Ride London is campaigning against are driving motorcycles and scooters out of London which is only making congestion on the roads and public transport worse while significantly impacting grass roots workers who can't afford to commute by other means and small businesses who depend on their custom.
We Ride London and other groups including MAG, the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community & UKMTP will continue to apply pressure to national and local government and their policy makers both behind the scenes and through direct action such as rides through London until something is done to address our campaign objectives.