CONTROVERSIAL police tactics to stop moped-riding criminals by knocking them off their scooters have been backed by Sadiq Khan.
The London mayor defended Scotland Yard’s ‘tactical contact’ strategy despite Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott saying it was ‘dangerous’.
It comes after police released dramatic footage last week showing officers using their vehicles to ram thieves.
A spokesman for Mr Khan said the number of moped crimes had been reduced after measures that included police pursuits, DNA forensic tagging and the use of automatic tyre deflation devices were introduced.
He added: ‘In the most extreme cases where there is danger to the public, risk-assessed tactical contact is also used, which is carried out by specially trained officers.
‘The mayor believes this is a proportionate response in these circumstances. He is pleased to see fewer motorcycle offences in London and hopes the tactics used by the Metropolitan Police will make offenders think twice about their actions.’
Senior officers said the strategy had helped reduce moped-enabled crime in London by more than a third.
But Ms Abbott (pictured above), writing on Twitter, said: ‘Knocking people off bikes is potentially very dangerous.
‘It shouldn’t be legal for anyone. Police are not above the law.’
But her comments prompted Camden Police in north London to tweet: ‘Someone who’s responsible for law-making should probably realise that using tactical contact to terminate dangerous pursuits is entirely within our lawful power.’
The mayor’s position brings him into line with home secretary Sajid Javid, who also disputed Ms Abbott’s assessment.
He said: ‘Risk-assessed tactical contact is exactly what we need. Criminals are not above the law.’
Mr Javid revealed in June that his phone was taken in a moped mugging before he became home secretary.