By Ryan Dabbs
Police officers have arrested a man riding through Richmond Park on a stolen motorcycle.
The arrest comes after the Metropolitan Police confirmed that an increased number of police officers will patrol Richmond Park, following four bike thefts in the last week from a gang of four men on mopeds.
Royal Parks Police tweeted that they had arrested a man and taken him into custody, after a pursuit in Richmond Park. Officers established that the motorcycle had been stolen, but it is unclear whether the offender relates to the moped gang responsible for the bike robberies.
"Officers from Operation Venice were deployed yesterday to Richmond Park and the surrounding area," said Royal Parks Police. "Whilst on patrol in the local area they engaged and pursued a male on a motorbike, with tactical contact being made. The male was arrested and taken into custody.
"The motorbike was established to have been stolen. Officers are continuing their investigation."
Officers from #OperationVenice were deployed yesterday to #RichmondPark and the surrounding area. Whilst on patrol in the local area they engaged and pursued a male on a motorbike, with tactical contact being made. The male was arrested and taken into custody. (1)/2) pic.twitter.com/0sB6FhscRMOctober 13, 2021
Operation Venice is aimed at tackling motorcycle enabled crime, with the help of the Motorcycle Industry Association. The taskforce, formed with the Metropolitan Police across the City and Metropolitan Police Boroughs, is responsible for cracking down on powered two wheeler vehicles that enable crime.
While this arrest relates to a stolen motorcycle rather than a stolen bicycle, it could still link to the bike thefts in the area over the past week.
The bike thefts share the common theme of men on mopeds knocking cyclists off of their bikes, before stealing them. On two of the occasions, they also drew a machete on the cyclists - one of whom was British pro Alexandar Richardson.
Police have urged cyclists and the public to remain vigilant in Richmond Park and the surrounding area, and hope that the increased police presence will help with safety.
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