London Mayor, Sadiq Khan called on representatives of the motorcycle industry yesterday to help tackle the rising problem of motorcycle and scooter crime in the capital. Last year there were over 14,000 thefts of motorcycles in London alone, and 23,430 crimes committed using motorcycles; that means an average of 64 crimes committed each day.
Representatives from some of the biggest motorcycle and scooter manufacturers including BMW, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda and Piaggio were invited to join with the Metropolitan Police, MOPAC, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) and Secure by Design at City Hall on Tuesday.
The Mayor announced he will be urging manufacturers to step up their security features on popular models to help reduce the growing numbers of motorcycle-assisted crimes.
In an official press release, Sadiq Khan said: “Motorcycle-related crime is reckless, frightening, intimidating and will not be tolerated in the capital.
“I have tasked the Met with stemming the increase, and they have responded with targeted intelligence-led operations, increased arrests and new tactics. But this is a problem that cannot be solved with policing alone.
“I am bringing manufacturers and partners together to help us stamp it out once and for all. It is essential that the manufacturers step up to help us tackle this problem at the source. Put simply, the design of motorcycles make the far too easy to steal and this must be dealt with head-on at the point of design if we are to rid our streets of these crimes.”
Support from the MCIA
In an official MCIA press release, MCIA CEO Tony Campbell reflected on his meeting with the Mayor: “This was a good opportunity to demonstrate how seriously manufacturers are taking this problem and to update the Mayor on some of the initiatives he may not have been fully aware of.
“We know the Mayor would like to hear there is a ‘magic bullet’ which can be fitted to all bikes to stop them from being stolen, but unfortunately there isn’t. If there was, we would be fitting it, as theft is particularly damaging to business and to our customers.
“For many hard working Londoners, motorcycles and scooters are the only realistic form of commuter transport. in terms of affordability, reliability and ease of movement. We will do whatever we can to help make sure that riders can go about their business safely on the streets of London and are working closely with both the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office to play our part in achieving this.”
What are the Police doing?
It was announced late last year that the Met Police will be given extra support and aids to help tackle the growing number of attacks in the City, as part for Operation Venice. This included four new specialist lightweight BMW scrambler bikes, mobile stingers and forensic DNA tagging spray.
Commander Julian Bennet, Territorial Policing said: “Police are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters, mopeds, motorbikes and bicycles.
“In addition to making the vehicles harder to steal in the first place we deploy a range of proactive tactics on a daily basis to prevent the vehicles being used by criminals who snatch mobile phones and other valuables from unsuspecting members of the public.
Be Safe Campaign
The Met Police are continuing to promote their Be Safe campaign throughout 2018 to encourage riders to to layer up on their security to reduce visibility and awareness to thieves. A new phase of the campaign will be announced later on this year.
MCIA’s CEO Tony Campbell praised the layered approach to security, saying: “We have explained to the Mayor that a ‘layered’ approach to security is proving to be the most effective and realistic way of making theft more difficult.
“This uses a combination of new technologies like ‘tagging’ and ‘tracking’ and riders are encouraged to always supplement this with physical security in the form of locks and chains. But they need something to lock their bikes to, which is where City Hall can make a difference, in providing more secure parking across London.”
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) continue to support and develop the MASTER security scheme, a registration and tagging system that is fitted in most of the new bikes of major manufacturers. Since it’s introduction in 2013 there have been over 22,000 machines tagged, and stats show that bikes fitted with the MASTER tagged scheme as SIX TIMES less likely to be stolen compared to those not tagged.
Do you think stepping up manufacturer security on motorbikes in the right answer? Do you agree with the Mayor? Share your thoughts below.