No where left to ride as Police breeze through the borough

Operation Breeze results in 18 arrests and 60 vehicle seizures

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Hammersmith and Fulham Police have completed another successful phase of Operation Breeze which resulted in 18 people being arrested and 60 vehicles being seized.

The operation, which aims to tackle offenders on mopeds who snatch personal property from members of the public, ran for three days last week (from 26th September).

This brings the total of vehicles removed over the two phases of the operation (July and September) to 116 and 36 people arrested.

The operation brought together resources from the Met's Air Support Unit (ASU), traffic officers, Safer Neighbourhoods PCSO's the DVLA and Hammersmith & Fulham Council staff e.g street wardens and traffic wardens .

The ASU helicopter enabled police to have a bird's eye view of the borough and feed information back to the officers on the ground about suspicious vehicles to check. The officers also used Automatic Number Plate Reader technology to stop suspicious vehicles and search people where appropriate.

The traffic wardens reported any suspicious looking vehicles which were checked and removed by the DVLA if found to have no insurance, no tax or to have been abandoned or stolen. Street wardens and PCSO's also used their local knowledge to find areas where stolen mopeds could be hidden.

This type of crime tends to be committed by teenage or young adult males, who often do not have a licence and little driving experience despite riding bikes of up to 500cc. Using a moped allows the offender to make a quick getaway and allows them to hide their identity by wearing a helmet.

Moped crime on the borough is low but it can result in further criminality with stolen vehicles changing hands on a regular basis amongst associates, or registration details not being up to date. Offenders also put the general public at risk by driving at speed when they commit the offence and can sometimes result in collisions or near misses.

Detective Superintendent Stephen Cassidy said "We use many tactics to disrupt this type of crime and Operation Breeze is a very successful part of that. The results speak for themselves and I have a simple message for those engaged in these offences, in the majority of cases we know who you are and we have the determination and the ability to catch you.

Cllr Greg Smith, Hammersmith & Fulham Council cabinet member for crime & anti-social behaviour, said, "The criminal yobs who tear around our streets have had a wake up call. Together the council and police are enforcing a zero tolerance approach with swoops like this. Criminals in Hammersmith & Fulham need to be running scared of our crime crack down and with results like this our get tough approach is being vindicated."

October 3, 2006