Whilst sifting through the world of Twitter, I found a tweet from the Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott. She feels that it is inappropriate for potential criminals to be knocked off their mopeds if they do not stop for the police.


From some of the replies to her tweet, you can tell that a lot of Twitter users are unhappy about this. This includes a Patrol Officer for the West Yorkshire Police. I was one of the people who was quite angered by this as well. This attitude has the ability to empower criminals who use their moped as a method to commit offences.

People on mopeds should be given the opportunity to stop for the police, of course they should. Ramming should not be used for the sake of knocking someone off their moped. That is unacceptable. You could argue that only people who carry out dangerous acid attacks should automatically be knocked off for the severity of the crime — putting other people in serious danger.

If people are given the opportunity to stop and choose not to do so, then the police should have every right to use this ramming tactic in my opinion. You should face the consequences of 1. Not stopping for the police and; 2. Committing crime in the first place.

I was in deep discussion with one of my course colleagues at university about this. She felt that this should not be a tactic to be used on the streets of the United Kingdom. I listened to her points about why she thought this was wrong, referring to the potential damage sustained to the moped rider being knocked off their bike.

Whilst I do understand this point, The Times have stated that this method has been risk assessed, and has most likely been ratified by all the necessary authorities. It is a well-known fact that you should stop for the police even in the case of mistaken identity.

If you are pulled over, do not panic. You have done the right thing, trying to get away will only make things worse. I totally understand why people may panic if they are pulled over and have no idea why. Perhaps it is the duty of the authorities to make this seem less daunting, either through a Public Service Announcement via TV, or another method of communication.

This could stop people been knocked off their mopeds wrongly, which is another ethical issue to consider when using this tactic. There is more work to be done by both the public and the authorities to make this ramming method more effective.

My course colleague also stated that there may be a valid reason why the person on the moped has committed a crime. She said that the person may have desperately need food or money for their family.

This made me think about the public outrage that would occur if media outlets revealed that someone had been seriously hurt/killed by a police car, whilst in desperate times trying to make their life better as well as their family’s life.

Whilst I can sympathise with this, I still maintain that this member should automatically stop for the police, especially given the fact that they have committed an offence. This reduces the likelihood of them being knocked off their moped. The Government should however be doing more to combat poverty and other motives for these crimes. That is something I will accept.

However, by stealing as a means of trying to improve their lives, such people are most likely affecting others in a less than positive way. This is another factor which also needs to be considered. Moped criminals have the ability to pose an immediate threat to other members of the public nearby, where the initial crime took place.

Ramming as a tactic is something which I never like to see, but it is needed given the rise of acid attacks and thefts via mopeds and other similar vehicles. The crime-fighting potential of this tactic remains to be seen, but arguably the method is useful — albeit raw.