I was chatting with my mate in the pub about these ‘scooter thugs’ who ride around nicking motorcycles, phones, etc. we had a good laugh watching videos on YouTube where they get knocked off by police units tasked with cracking down on this type of crime.
However, my mate then showed me lots of cases where these police officers were prosecuted for dangerous driving. How is this fair? They are doing a public service and are the only people stopping these scooter thugs. What is the legal position on this?
It has changed. The old law, if I can call it that, applied to all of us in the same manner.
That is to say, if your driving or riding (and I use these terms interchangeably) fell below, or far below, the standard of a ‘careful and competent driver’, you were guilty of careless or dangerous driving. So, a copper who rams a scooter thug off his bike would be treated the same way if you or I did it. Of course, we aren’t trained, and we don’t drive police cars, so it did seem a bit unfair – especially as we all love our motorcycles, and it was painful to see these thugs nicking our bikes off the streets with no regard for the law.
That all changed on October 36, 2022. The new bill, called the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, now creates another class of ‘trained driver’. The court no longer treats your TPAC/pursuit-trained police officer on the same basis as it did before. The court can now consider the police driver’s particular training, which, if it allows for pursuits and tactical contact, is the copper’s defence against being locked up for dangerous driving.
Hopefully, we will see a reduction in these scooter thugs committing crimes, as they know the police will pursue them. The police are having a hard time at the moment, but for those good apples in the force, rest assured that the law change is very much on your side.
I know I wouldn’t want to have an argument with a 5 Series BMW. If the level of crime doesn’t change, I think we will see a lot more YouTube videos of scooter thugs getting knocked off. Ouch.
Fast Bikes January 2023