We all know how police are clamping down on us ‘generally’ law-abiding motorcyclists, with their speed cameras and their driver awareness causes and all that nonsense; so I don’t need to go into that. What I’m sure most of us want to know, is what they’re doing to tackle the real baddies. The Jeremy Hunts that nick our bikes have been getting away with it for too long, and if you believe everything you read on the internet (some do, you know), the police are actually trying to put a stop to it once and for all. This is how police are tackling bike thieves.
Telling us to improve security
The criminal justice system is broken. If it worked, people would soon stop stealing bikes, but they won’t. The problem is, nobody dares take the bull by the horns and start chopping hands off. No, rather than locking bike thieves up and throwing away the key (or simply killing them), convicted bike thieves are left to wander the streets, amongst us humans, sometimes after a short prison sentence, often not.
That means the police know there’s a very good chance our bikes are going to get stolen. So to save them the massive amount of paperwork involved in doling out a crime number and then completely disregarding the case, they’re putting the onus on us. They’re saying that we need to keep our bikes locked up and keep them out of sight of the Jeremys. Yes, thanks for that, Officer Dibble, I don’t need you to tell me to put a chain on my bike.
Bike thefts aren’t important enough to put real helicopters in the sky, so police in some counties have started using toys to chase criminals down. I can imagine it would be absolutely petrifying hearing the shrill buzz of an overhead drone, watching your every move. Well until you go under a bridge, or a tunnel, or a multistorey carpark or something. Or until the batteries run out.
Ok maybe I’m being a little negative about this. If it helps them apprehend a suspect, and get someone’s bike back than I suppose it can only be a good thing. But if it was my bike they were chasing down, I’d want a an Apache helicopter up there, baring down on them, or a Chinook full of SAS. Not some Toys R Us special.
This is one of the latest weapons in the constabularies armoury, but it’s a bit of a peculiar one. It’s a spray you can’t see unless you shine a UV light on it (like semen, for all you CSI fans). For the coppers to spray the baddies though, they’ve got to come within a few meters of them. Why they don’t just arrest them there and then, god only knows. Or give them a shot with the old taser; that usually stops them in their tracks?
Really, this is just something to help police identify a perp if he (or she) manages to escape. I’ve no idea why it needs to be an invisible spray. It should be visible for us all to see, shouldn’t it? Let’s make them stand out like a sore thumb. Never mind an invisible spray, get a tin of magnolia gloss chucked over their head.
Actually investigating thefts
No this isn’t a joke, some police forces have announced that they might start thinking about ‘proactively investigating’ bike thefts. I imagine it will only be certain bike thefts, which meet a very particular set of criteria. Perhaps if you are a high ranking police officer, you might get a look in. I don’t know if Cressida Dick is a motorcyclist, but I’d assume if she was, and she had a bike go missing, they’d pull out a few stops.
For most people, expecting more than a crime number and a brief visit from a uniform copper, after reporting a theft, is probably being a bit ambitious. I’ve had the misfortune of reporting a few thefts over the years and I’ve not once seen anyone dusting for prints or whipping out the UV spunk-torch. It just doesn’t happen. Unless your surname’s Dick.
This one makes absolutely perfect sense, doesn’t it? Crush all the bikes so there’ll be none left to nick. Brilliant idea. That’s like taking a starving man’s dinner off him, so he doesn’t get food poisoning. Sort of. No, crushing bikes is completely missing the point; it’s not tackling bike thieves, it’s tackling bikes.
And not only is crushing bikes missing the point, it’s sacrilege. And a complete waste. Crushing a bike just because some scally has held up the local Greggs on it isn’t solving the problem. Put the scally in the crusher and save the bike. Definitely don’t crush it; give it to me, I’ll have it! What a terrible, terrible waste.
This is my favourite one. It put a big smile on my face when I read police were going to start employing this technique. I even like the name. ‘Tactical Contact’. This is where PC Plod, in his Jam Sandwich, rams the scrotum on the nicked moped until he hits the deck. It’s a dangerous manoeuvre, but if you ask me, absolutely essential. Imagine the prick takes out an innocent mother and her several kids, minding their business on the way to the dole office. No, the best thing to do is put him down, fast.
I haven’t read anything official, but I imagine in the coppers cloak room there is a scoreboard listing all the ‘tactical contacts’, with double points awarded for broken bones or serious injury. And obviously points deducted if the bad guy got away.
Are you a police officer tasked with tackling motorcycle crime? Perhaps you’re Cressida Dick? If so, let us know in the comments below, and tell us how you’re tackling bike thieves. If anything.