Bike thief pleads guilty to string of offences after ‘Tactical Contact’ arrest


Published on 10 February 2020 by Mike Waters

A man who was arrested by police on February 4 after a so-called ‘Tactical Contact’ to prevent his escaping officers on a stolen motorcycle has pleaded guilty to six offences.

Konna Ward, 21, was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicle taking (aggravated by dangerous driving), driving/riding while disqualified, failing to stop for police, not having insurance, possession of a controlled Class B drug (cannabis) with intent to supply and a racially aggravated public order offence. He will be sentenced at a later date.

A statement by the Metropolitan Police explained that: “At 1611hrs on Tuesday, 4 February, officers from the Met’s Operation Venice Command were deployed on a proactive operation along with local officers. The unit’s attention was drawn to a motorcycle that immediately failed to stop for marked police motorcycles. The motorbike was also confirmed as stolen from Hertfordshire in December 2019 and displaying a false registration plate.”

“Marked Operation Venice motorcycles commenced a pursuit with the motorbike that failed to stop all the way to Wood Green High Road and repeatedly mounted and drove along the pavement. At Wood Green High Road, a marked Venice TPAC vehicle was authorised to use tactical contact to stop the pursuit. This was successful and the single rider ran into Wood Green Shopping Centre where a foot chase commenced. Officers pursued and detained Ward in the second floor car park, where he was then arrested.”

Commenting, Operation Venice’s Detective Chief Inspector Shaun White said: “Tactical contact is one of a range of tactics that Operation Venice officers have available to them. Officers undergo specialist training and are equipped to minimise risk and will always seek to bring pursuits to a safe conclusion. The tactical option of pursuit has many layers of continuous risk assessment. This includes the driver and riders themselves and the Met Control Command radio operator. The final decision to use tactical contact rests with the driver and will be initiated when considered proportionate and necessary and other tactics are neither practicable, nor achievable, within what are fast moving and dynamic incidents.”

Ward was also one of 37 people whose faces were publicised by police last year in an attempt to track them down. It is understood that he was wanted in connection with an incident involving attempted grievous bodily harm in which a car was driven at a police officer and another incident in which he allegedly refused to allow a female passenger to leave a car.

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