c/o PO BOX 481
Tel: 02380 478922
Dear Mr Haylock FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NUMBER: 000269/16
Thank you for your request for information regarding stinger devices which has now been
considered. Applicant Question:
A recent high profile case featured police in West Midlands deploying a stinger device to disable a
motorcycle or motorcycles and arrest the riders.
Can the NPCC please provide the content of any policy guidance they offer police forces around use
of stinger against motorcycles, and also details of any safety testing or research that they are aware
of that informed that guidance and that has been carried out on use of stinger and similar devices
In particular, has any research been carried out concerning the effect on a motorcycle with tubed
tyres of an encounter with stinger or similar devices used by UK police, and has any research been
carried out to determine whether a person falling on a stinger in the way that a person might fall
from a motorcycle would be at any risk of injury from the payload of a stinger, and what the nature
of that injury might be?
If NPCC has offered no policy guidance, and/or is aware of no safety testing of stinger deployed
against motorcycles, please state for the record. NPCC Response:
The NPCC does hold information captured by your request. I attach to this letter two documents
which are captured by your request:
NPCC Report for the National Pursuit Steering Group July 2015;
NPCC Pursuits test results using HOSTYDS on Motor Cycles June 23.
I have also consulted with colleagues in this area who have helpfully provided further information
and context outside of the Act in wishing to assist you. “Where possible, it is preferable to use pre-emptive tactics to prevent motorcycle and quad bike
pursuits. The use of tactics given in the tactics directory, including tyre deflation devices may be
1st Floor, 10 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0NN T 020 7084 8950 F 020 7084 8951
proportionate and necessary to mitigate risk to the public, officers and subjects. It is accepted that
the pre-emptive use of tactics carries some risk to rider(s), however, this risk is likely to be
significantly lower than allowing the vehicle to be driven at speeds to avoid capture, regardless of
the intention of the police to engage in a pursuit.
There may be a public interest in engaging motorcycles and quads in pursuits. Where such vehicles
are used to facilitate serious crime or used repeatedly as the mode of transport for organised crime
groups then, to minimise risk to the public from criminality and to secure public confidence in
policing, a pursuit may be justified. Careful consideration must be given to the risks involved and
the NDM must be applied in the decision making process. A plan must be developed to resolve the
pursuit using tactics set out in the tactics directory.
A case to extend the use of stopping devices on motor cycles was made to the NPCC national
operations forum and agreed in October 2015. This followed numerous concerns that police tactics
to deal with riders behaving badly and riding dangerously required enhancing. The concerns being
built around the public fear that exposed risks and potential harm to other road users and
pedestrians by such unacceptable behaviour.
Supporting evidence was provided followed the testing of stopping devices on motor cycles which
was carried out under scientific and controlled conditions in June and July 2015. Testing was
independently witnessed and results considered by a senior scientific expert employed by the Home
Office scientific department (CAST)
Different types of machine and tyres were ridden over different types of hollow spiked devices at a
range of speeds and motor cycle bank angles.
There is no evidence whatsoever from the testing that a person would naturally fall from a motor
cycle following its contact with a hollow spiked device. Scenarios and rider behaviour/reaction can
of course differ and depending on circumstances the chances of a rider falling from a machine and
coming into contact with a spike is a possibility, but are considered remote and risk acceptable as
the contact time between machine and device can be measured in small parts of a second
(depending on speed).
In considering the use of such devices against motor cycles officers are required to undertake a
course of training which includes safety awareness which accords to national learning standards set
by the College of Policing. Use of devices on motor cycles must be considered proportionate and it
is for the officers involved in managing the incident to decide best tactics to apply and for them to
justify their decision making, based on threat, risk and harm not only to the rider, but the risks a
rider presents to other road users including pedestrians"
Freedom of Information Officer & Decision Maker www.npcc.police.uk
If you are dissatisfied with the response you have been provided with, in compliance with the
Freedom of Information legislation, you can lodge a complaint with NPCC to have the decision
reviewed within 20 working days of the date of this response. The handling of your request will be
looked at by someone independent of the original decision, and a fresh response provided.
It would be helpful, if requesting a review, for you to articulate in detail the reasons you are not
satisfied with this reply.
If you would like to request a review, please write or send an email to NPCC Freedom of
Information, c/o PO Box 481, Fareham, Hampshire, PO14 9FS.
If, after lodging a complaint with NPCC, you are still unhappy with the outcome, you may make an
application to the Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.