Met police officer could be charged for ramming moped

Met police carImage copyright PA
Image caption The tactic of police officers using their vehicles to knock moped thieves off their bikes – even during high-speed pursuits – has proved controversial

A Met Police officer who knocked a teenager off a moped while employing a new ramming tactic could face criminal charges.

The officer carried out the so-called tactical contact to stop the 17-year-old from riding dangerously.

The boy, who was not wearing a helmet, was admitted to hospital with serious head injuries but later discharged.

A file of evidence gathered by the police watchdog is to be passed to prosecutors and Scotland Yard.

If he is prosecuted, the officer could be charged with actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.

The Met could also decide if there is a case to answer for misconduct, which could result in dismissal.

‘Impunity not guaranteed’

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) was launched after the crash in Eastern Way, Erith, at about 02:15 GMT on 7 November last year.

The boy later pleaded guilty to five offences at the youth court, including theft, dangerous driving, and driving without a licence.

An IOPC spokesman said: “Ultimately no police tactic can ever be used with impunity in a country where we police by consent – be that tactical contact, the use of firearms or the use of restraint.

“It is always a matter of whether it’s reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The Met has said it was “actively targeting moped criminals”

“But it would be wrong to offer guarantees in every case. Independent scrutiny is a vital part of public confidence in the way policing is done.”

The watchdog also confirmed it was investigating a second tactical contact case involving another Met officer where an adult was taken off his moped in Ealing, west London, last March.

Senior officers have defended the use of tactical contact, saying it was needed to stop dangerous chases and has helped reduce moped crime in London by more than a third.

The manoeuvre has also been backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, who said a “robust” response was needed from police to what she described as a growing problem of people using mopeds to commit crimes such as bag and phone-snatching.

But Labour has raised concerns about the approach, which shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said was “potentially very dangerous”.

Moped takedown officer could be charged

A Met Police officer who knocked a teenager off a moped while employing a new ramming tactic could face criminal charges. The officer carried out the so-called tactical contact to stop the 17-year-old from riding dangerously. The boy, who was not wearing a helmet, was admitted to hospital with serious head injuries but later discharged.

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