London – In a long spree of motorcycle enabled crime on mopeds, motorcycle, scooter and moped thefts have come to a head with the latest reported barbaric acid attacks in London – five attacks in ninety minutes in one night by two teenagers – victims having their mopeds stolen – and 24 hours later a further report of a rider being attacked with a “noxious substance” in an attempt to take the rider’s moped.
(As acid attacks appear to becoming a weapon of choice, a piece from Biker & Bike – Safety advice on bike jackings with acid)
We take a look at social media groupings that have set up to “campaign” to deter and prevent motorcycle theft and related crime.
The group – Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community (MCPC) – is based on Social Media, in particular Facebook, where the group of over two thousand members exists to raise riders’ concerns regarding the theft and enabled crime of Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs – Mopeds – Scooters – Motorcycles) in London.
What Is The MCPC Specifically Asking For?
The fast growing group which is a non-profit, self-funded, volunteer organisation, aims is to deter and prevent motorcycle theft and to research and advise on motorcycle security; to encourage change to laws and legislation with regards to moped enabled crime, motorcycle theft, the pursuit of offenders and prosecution.
The specifics of their requests are:
- For the Police to be given greater powers to pursue offenders on Mopeds, Motorcycles and other vehicles more easily and without fear of prosecution themselves. (Motorcycle Minds – Using our own experience we suggested adding to this – or internal disciplinary action.)
- For adequate, secure motor parking solutions to be introduced to be introduced (sic) nationally.
- For the Courts to back up Police with real solutions in the form of firm punishments. (Motorcycle Minds – Using our own experience we suggested adding – form of adequate punishments that fit the crime that can also with involvement of all agencies act as an adequate deterrent.)
- That Insurance companies are forced to end the practice of re categorising damaged motor frames and shells that are sold back onto the market to fuel the market in stolen motor parts. (Motorcycle Minds – Using our own experience we suggested adding – the practice of categorising motorcycles that have been stolen and recovered as Category “X”, then selling them to breakers for the parts which effectively means that stolen bike parts are being re-circulated “legally”. N.B.: Stolen and recovered motorcycles which are not returned to the owner, should be treated as Category A and crushed.
- For the Courts to make offenders pay victims ALL out of pocket losses and expenses for ALL thefts, not just motor related thefts.
The MCPC is a spin off from the original group – The UK Motorcycle Theft Protest – which now runs as a closed group on Facebook and also appear to be on Facebook as – The UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Community – we are confused! Other groups are available such as – London Motorcycle Crime.
However as we previously reported In November last year – Biker & Bike – UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Group – The UK Motorcycle Theft Protest organised a demo ride attended by 600-700 bikers converging at London’s iconic Ace Café and riding peacefully to Downing Street to hand in a petition.
The petition called for, amongst many other measures, an end to the policy of the police only allowing all but the most highly trained pursuit offers to follow and stop thieves on motorcycles, mainly higher-powered scooters, in criminal circumstances – No Chase Policy.
They also highlighted the surge in bike-jacking incidents, where a group of 3-4 gang bikes will surround a lone biker and forcibly take the bike from them. It’s far less risky for the thieves than having to spend 2 minutes cutting through chains and disc locks, and they get the keys too.
Adding to the confusion it would appear that “The Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community” was to host their own demo in April – UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Awareness Ride – into the centre of London from the ACE Café, with “The UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Community” staging a demo in June (cancelled due to the terrorist events/situation in London).
Meanwhile this weekend’s We Ride London awareness ride has, as one of its objectives – More action against increasing bike theft and bike-jacking – so there is no lack of seeking action against the issue!
Take It To The Mayor
But where then do you take your concerns, issues, solutions and frustration to?
You take it to the Mayor – currently Sadiq Khan – after all he is in charge!
That is exactly what the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community (MCPC) did a few weekends ago.
Instead of the usual “call to arms” of a protest ride, the group invited riders to join them for a picnic in the sun under the Tower Bridge, to make people (riders and non-riders) aware of their fight against all motorcycle crime.
A small core of members of the group handed out awareness leaflets and “protested” in a friendly manner (sandwiches in hand we presume, although we hear there was some dancing) with banners displayed outside the Mayor’s Office. The City Hall headquarters of the Greater London Authority (GLA), includes the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Just before the event, a member of the group, on behalf of the Motorcycle Action Group and the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community, met Sadiq Kahn (the Mayor of London) and Val Shawcross (Deputy Mayor of London for Transport) in person and asked them a question:
“Considering motorcycle enabled crime has risen by 600% in the past two years, have you considered that the proposed £770 million cycle superhighway is inadvertently providing criminals on motorcycles a network of ideal, easy to use escape routes that could potentially see the motorcycle enabled crime figures rising more dramatically? If so how do you intend to contain this?”
Reality Of Violence & Protest
On paper this article does not reflect the reality of the violence and tools used by today’s thievery/hi-jacking and “moped” enabled crime, which is extending to the use of throwing/spraying acid and recently knives and guns pointed at police officers by those who use social media to the advertise the theft/selling and gloating of their deeds.
It would appear that riders want to protest but as we know, a protest needs numbers and it needs coordination and is only one part of a campaign to get your needs and requirement to the people that can make the changes you want.
The MCPC are saying that if riders want to do ride protests they need more members in the group to get the numbers for impacting demonstrations. They say, “Let’s put it this way….. 7k members = 400 bikes at a protest ride. Share the page and the group where ever you can then we can work on organising bigger and even sync events with other cities across the UK. Until we have the numbers we can only do smaller events to increase our numbers with bikers and members of the public. The smaller events include leaflet distribution at stations and other public places like we did this weekend. If you are up for helping with these events getting the public onside (the only way the powers that be will listen) then please contact the group.”
Motorcycle Minds Comment – Again!
Bike theft has been an issue for many years with spikes in theft and tackling theft.
This latest wave of acid spraying attacks, now what appears to be a weapon of choice, hammer, knife wielding by “feral gangs” moving from bolt cutters, to portable battery grinders to electronic bypass devices defeating theft secure systems, attacks in broad daylight seems to have left security providers, approval schemes, publicity from riders’ organisations, the Home Office and Police flatfooted in their size eleven boots.
With reports everyday on social media and now in the “normal” media, riders are having to fend for themselves with regards added security and any reliance on the powers that be to defend its law abiding citizens.
Will we be writing the same comment down the line – as those that steal have one purpose, while all groups involved in “defending” riders do their own thing?
So riders, it is up to you!
Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community – Facebook Page
Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community – Facebook Closed Group
Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community – Website – www.themcpc.com
The UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Community – Facebook Page
The UK Motorcycle Theft Protest – On Facebook – Closed Group
Note: This article is written using information freely available in the public domain which may or may not have copyright protection for reproduction – in the main we did ask to reproduce certain material in the vein of free PR no strings attached, outside the bubble of Facebook.
Metropolitan Police – Video on Theft