Moped gangs are filming themselves pushing cyclists off their bikes and posting footage on social media
The masked criminals are using social media to ‘glorify crime’
Moped gangs have been filming themselves pushing cyclists off their bikes and posting footage on social media as part of a dangerous trend.
Masked moped riders have been attacking cyclists by pushing or kicking them off their bikes, then uploading videos online.
The criminals have also been filming themselves stealing motorbikes and then offering them for sale, The Times newspaper reports.
Senior campaigns officer at charity Cycling UK, Sam Jones, told the paper: “This sort of behaviour is a sick joke which is putting people’s lives and well-being at risk.
“Social media outlets have a responsibility to make sure content like this doesn’t make it before the public – but more importantly this should act as a wake-up call that the country needs more roads policing.”
The Times reports it has seen videos on social media of moped riders pushing cyclists off their bikes, including an incident in Sutton, south west London, where a man in a high-visibility jacket was pushed off his bike and into a wall.
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A spokesperson for the Facebook and Instagram said it was investigating the accounts to see if the videos violate guidelines, which bans illegal activity, including praise and support of it.
Labour MP Paul Farrelly, who sits on the digital culture, media and sport select committee, said it was “utterly wrong that social media is used to glorify crime.”
Police in London have taken a new approach to tackling moped crime in the capital, as they now use ‘tactical ramming’ to stop criminals fleeing.
The Metropolitan Police has released video footage of the tough new approach in action, with officers using police vehicles to knock suspects off their mopeds.
Police figures released late last year revealed that moped-related crimes had increased 1,000 per cent in three years.
Mopeds have been used to snatch phones, watches and handbags from pedestrians and also in shop raids and acid attacks.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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