CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Police officers cleared over moped crash case

15 August, 2017 — By William McLennan

POLICE who pursued a moped rider were not to blame for a collision in which the teenager was critically injured, an investigation has concluded.

Two officers in a patrol car spotted a group of four mopeds outside an estate agent in Plender Street, Camden Town, in the early hours of the morning. The officers believed they were about to carry out a smash-and-grab raid on an estate agent, according to a report published by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The driver turned on his blue lights and sirens and followed one moped, carrying a backseat passenger, who fled along Bayham Street, before turning into Crowndale Road, shortly after midnight in May 2015. The police car driver told the IPCC he decided to chase the moped at first because he “deemed that this initial stage pursuit was low-risk” but that when the rider began riding on the wrong side of the road he backed off as it was now dangerous.

The moped jumped a red light and was hit by a car, the report said. Both teens were hospitalised, with one in a critical condition.

The IPCC report comes on the back of an announcement from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan that officers who chase suspects on mopeds should be protected by the law. The other officer in the car said Camden was “currently being affected by a large number of moped-enabled crimes”. When asked why he had fled police, the report said the rider of the moped had responded: “I was scared and panicked because I knew I should not have had a passenger and I had cannabis in my bag.”

The IPCC report concluded that “the actions and decisions of the police officers pursuing moped rider in the opinion of the IPCC investigator, appear to have been in line with MPS policies, procedures and the Road Traffic Act 1988.”

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