Lawyer dubbed 'Mr Loophole' slams police for mowing down moped muggers
Dubbed 'Mr Loophole', lawyer Nick Freeman has earnt his name defending celebrities on charges of speeding - and has now hit out at what he calls ‘unlawful’ tactics used by Metropolitan Police officers to apprehend muggers on mopeds.
The issue has become widespread across the capital.
In some areas, signs have been erected to warn people of the threat posing by muggers on bikes. One such area is Islington, which recorded more than 1,200 thefts in the year to October 2018, according to data figures from the Metropolitan Police. Shoppers on Upper Street are warned to keep tabs on where their device is in a bid to ward off muggers from snatching it away.
Police are now using new tactics to prevent the spate of muggings - using any means necessary. Coppers are now ramming vehicles into suspects as they flee crime scenes on mopeds in a bid to kerb reported incidents - leading to a 36% reduction in thefts involving mopeds and motorcycles across the capital.
But 'Mr Loophole' says such tactics are wrong, stating: "We’re governed by the rule of law".
“Deliberately ramming them to try and apprehend them is unlawful, it’s dangerous driving, it’s assault. Ambulance-chasing lawyers will be encouraging these people… to sue the police for any damages they have sustained,” he added.
“We spend millions and millions of pounds a year paying out compensation to undeserving causes.”
The Met says its latest hardline approach has drastically decreased muggings by thieves on mopeds. Previously, officers were reluctant to engage in high-speed chases in fears they could injure or hurt suspects, who could be as young as ten years old.
Former Met Police Detective David Videcette defended the tactic: "Police are within the law or otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it, and I don’t think the argument of the police are going to be sued is a good argument against it.”
Other measures police have used to reduce moped muggings include equipment for puncturing tyres and DNA spray which marks offenders with an invisible dye.