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Police still tackling moped and bike crime in Bexley, but inspector says not all suspects can be chased down

PUBLISHED: 12:48 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:25 25 July 2017

Bexleyheath

Bexleyheath

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Figures were released last week

A senior inspector from within the borough has urged residents to lock up their bikes as officers continue to tackle moped-related crime in the borough.

Despite a London-wide focus on the behaviour and a spate of moped-related acid and knife attacks earlier this month, detective inspector Dawn Morris has said police cannot always pursue every suspicious moped rider.

“Our officers have to consider whether chasing after a suspect is always the safest thing to do, or if it could endanger the public, officers or the suspect,” said det insp Morris.

“In those cases we tend to request support from a police helicopter, or lay down puncture strips, which let down wheels slowly to prevent any accidents.”

Police say the rising concern of stolen bikes and mopeds can be linked to incidents of robbery and violence in the borough, with the vehicles also used to snatch phones from victim’s hands as riders drive past.

Figures revealed last week by the Office for National Statistics showed bike thefts had risen by 67 per cent from March 2016 to March this year, while robbery and violence had risen by 36 and 10 per cent respectively.

Concerns London-wide have sparked the introduction of Operation Venice, aiming to prevent the theft of mopeds and bikes which could later be used in crime.

“The trend of powered two-wheeler crime, and some others using bicycles, is something we are continuing to tackle,” said det insp Morris.

“While we may not always make an immediate arrest after an incident, these types of criminals don’t tend to want to dump their vehicle and walk the 10 miles home after using them, so we’re developing a picture of where they are and how we can stop them by basing our patrols in the correct areas.

“We are also working with the public to show them how to better protect their bikes by making them more secure with better locks and using traceable liquids like SmartWater so bikes can be identified as their own under an ultraviolet light.

“We are also monitoring websites to see if anyone is trying to sell the stolen vehicles online.”

“Releasing CCTV footage has also been very successful to gain information from witnesses and we will keep working with members of the public moving forward.”

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