A London newspaper reports that a MET police officer is facing additional scrutiny and potential criminal charges after using “tactical contact” to knock a rider off his motorcycle. The officer faces potential criminal charges such as causing actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm. He also faces a disciplinary investigation for gross misconduct which could cost the officer his job.
The incident occurred in southeast London at approximately 2:15 AM on November 7th, approximately one month after the MET adopted the “tactical contact” tactic. The chase started in Kent involving local officers and a police helicopter. The pursuit continued with the rider crossing the border into London where MET police officers continued the pursuit.
The MET police say that tactical contact was made to prevent the 17 year old rider from riding dangerously. The alleged offender was not wearing a helmet at the time. After the contact was made, the rider was left with “serious” head injuries and a broken foot but was discharged a few days later. He later plead guilty to attempted theft, interference with a vehicle, driving with no license, driving with no insurance and dangerous driving.
Crime Rate Falls
As previously reported by ADVRider.com, MET police have adopted a policy which permits them to use tactical contact to knock a motorcyclist off their bike. Since implementation of the policy, moto related crimes have dropped more than 30% during the past year. Still, the results have not gone without question by some.
Politician Questions Policy
One legislator, Dianne Abbot tweeted:
Knocking people off bikes is potentially very dangerous. It shouldn’t be legal for anyone. Police are not above the law https://t.co/boptGhJYbB
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) November 27, 2018
Abbot’s tweet resulted in angry responses from police agencies saying the tactic was appropriate and part of the MET’s policing responsibility.
Supporting the police were some groups including a Facebook group called the UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Group. They launched a petition urging the Government to implement protective measures for the officers using tactical contact.
“Please Sign this petition to push the Government to pass the emergency protection driver’s bill and help to protect our police officers when using “Tactical Contact” against moped thieves..,” an admin of the group wrote in a post.
So far, more than 26,000 thousand people agree and have signed the petition.