Category Archives: News

02-01-2018 MAG starts the New Year determined to make a difference

NewYearResolution2018

MAG is looking forward to driving the agenda for riders’ rights in 2018: here’s how.

MAG is gearing up to a new year of activities defending riders’ rights and contributing to the decision-making process at national and local governmental levels.

Selina Lavender, the Chair of MAG, stated that whilst there had been substantial challenges during 2017, MAG’s personnel are refreshed and ready to work just as hard during 2018 as throughout 2017.  “We had to respond to some very serious issues last year, not least the moped-enabled crime epidemic and the horrific attacks that went alongside those crimes, but we are strong and we are upbeat about what we can achieve going forward.

“We will be meeting with various high-level authorities early in the year to discuss this problem” she continued, “and we are pleased to note that these authorities recognise just how serious this problem has become and that a robust approach to sorting it out is required.”

MAG will continue to engage with Government and Local Authorities wherever a need to protect riders’ rights is identified and will be building on the relationships forged during the past year.  The organisation will also look forward to announcing a replacement for Dr Leon Mannings, who stepped down at last year’s Annual Group Conference from his role as Transport Policy Advisor, in due course.

MAG invites riders, dealers, mechanics and manufacturers to join MAG and help create a united voice for the common good of the riding community.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

21-12-2017 Wishing you all a Merry MAG Christmas

 

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, ends 2017 by offering a huge ‘thank you’ to all of its members for their support during the year and wishing them many miles of happy riding in the year ahead.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said “We have seen some tough issues during 2017; particularly the significant rise in moped-enabled crime and the appalling attacks that have taken place with acid or machetes. MAG stands firm regarding these crimes: they are unacceptable and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities to help stamp it out. We are able to engage with these processes because of our fantastic members. So ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you for your support over the past year. I hope you enjoy a very happy festive season and I look forward to helping take MAG forward with you all in 2018.”

Lembit Öpik, MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, added “MAG has had to deal with some very difficult things during the year, but we are holding fast and will continue to fight against threats to motorcycling in the year ahead. We can only do this because of our staunch members so I’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to you all because you make MAG what it is: the country’s leading riders’ rights organisation and every MAG member should be proud of their contribution.”

MAG’s Central Office will be closed over the Christmas period from Friday 22nd December at 12:30 to Tuesday 2nd January at 09:00, but you can still join on-line at http://www.mag-uk.org/en/membership/. Normal office hours are 09:00 to 17:00.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

23-11-2017 MAG opposes ‘disproportionate’ pillion passenger ban

MAG has expressed concerns about the prospect of a ban on pillion passengers in London – a proposal which has been raised to combat the scooter crime epidemic currently gripping the city.

The idea has been put forward by Green Greater London Authority member, Sian Berry who said ‘A very small number of people are causing large amounts of fear on our streets…  A local safer-neighbourhood panel Chair pointed out a tactic used in some other countries: to temporarily ban the carrying of pillion passengers across whole cities.’

of us recognise the need to find solutions to the scooter mugger problem, the honest law-abiding, hard-working Londoner who takes his partner to work to cut costs and commuting time will be badly affected by this.  It’s not as if the criminals will obey this law amongst all the others they are breaking. The Police will be hard-pushed with current staffing levels to enforce it and that will undermine the effectiveness of all laws.’
Tim adds ‘In 2011, Honduras banned motorcycle passengers after a series of drive-by killings.  In addition, a ban was imposed in Medellin, Colombia, at the height of drugs cartel violence.  Are we really saying London is comparable to Honduras and Columbia?  I don’t think so.  While it may be legitimate to impose a passenger ban on convicted criminals, doing so on a blanket basis is a disproportionate response to the challenge we’re trying to address.’
MAG will make these points in December 2017 at the Home Office forum which has been set up to address the moped mugger problem.
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

07-11-2017 New low with London acid attacks and Merseyside killing

MAG has described the most recent acid attack as a ‘new low in bike crime’ and expressed its frustration at the shocking assault on a rider, potentially leaving him with a visual impairment.

MAG has offered its sincere sympathy to the victim of the attack, a delivery moped rider named Muhammed Nawshad Kamal, who was assaulted by thugs attempting to steal his moped in the Walthamstow area of London.
MAG’s London Regional Representative Tim Fawthrop said ‘there’s not much to say which helps in this situation, except that a shudder went through the riding community when news of this attack became known.  We’re already working with local authorities and the police to reduce bike crime, but our efforts have come too late for Mr Kamal and that grieves me as a rider and us as a movement.’

MAG’s National Chair, Selina Lavender, adds ‘after the relative success of preventing mass lawbreaking at Halloween, this incident dampens the mood and leaves me feeling exasperated that such criminal, lawless behaviour still exposes riders to continual danger.  We’re drawing up a plan of action which we intend to share with relevant groups later in November, and with the next Home Office anti-bike crime meeting shortly after that.  If ever there was a dreadful example of the constant peril bikers have to put up with, the attack on Mr Kamal is it.’

MAG understands that the police have arrested two teenagers for this attack and that acid was thrown at the victim more than once.  While there are options regarding the penalty, it is worth noting that there have been calls for involving the parents or guardians.  It has also been pointed out that compensation is a factor, given the potentially permanent effect this attack will have on the rest of the victim’s life.
There is provision in law to hold people for very long periods if their crimes are serious enough and courts can commit people of any age to detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure, potentially indefinitely.

In separate incidents, a man in Merseyside was fatally stabbed by a number of criminals who used scrambler bikes for the assault, and reports are coming in regarding yet another acid attack.  These appalling crimes underline the national nature of this epidemic.  MAG is investigating the situation and has previously engaged with police on these matters.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

03-11-2017 MAG praises ‘no repeat’ of 2016 Halloween hooligan chaos

MAG has praised the law enforcement agencies and local authorities for a concerted effort which prevented a repeat of last year’s ugly scenes around the country, when lawless yobs invaded the streets of a number of towns and cities in a deliberate attempt to cause disorder.

Selina Lavender, the Chair of MAG, has expressed her satisfaction at the progress: ‘we were determined to prevent a second round of thuggery on two wheels this year, after the mayhem which was so widely reported in 2016.  I’m glad to say that the collective effort, including the police, local authorities and other groups such as We Ride London, the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Community, a very active Facebook group in Birmingham and, of course, MAG, have provided intelligence and collective will to the momentum against these criminals.  There was a bit of trouble in Romford at the weekend; however, apart from that, the main activities were children trick-or-treating with their parents and others just having a good time.’

Selina attributes the success to planning and communication.  ‘There were a number of arrests before Halloween, with many more potentially being charged.  No doubt this had a positive effect, stopping these yobs from thinking they can do what they want in our streets.  MAG has communicated with police forces and Councils in all the areas that were most affected in 2016. The law enforcement agencies are the ones that have done the real work on the ground and should be praised for this. I think we’ve learned a lot about what works and it’s also been a good relationship-building process.  I want to thank our activists for being so proactive and working with the authorities so effectively.  Theft and bike-jackings continue to be a major worry for riders.  As far as Halloween goes, the fact that there was no repeat of the anarchy we saw last year is less a matter for celebration than relief.’

Those charged with offences will be tried in due course.  MAG believes these prosecutions will be a salutary warning to others that their antics will be repaid with penalties through the courts.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

01-11-2016 MAG slams Leeds louts as ‘the worst example of behaviour in recent years’

MAG has slammed the ‘irresponsible and dangerous behaviour’ of 200 antisocial hooligans in Leeds as ‘the worst example of behaviour in recent years

One of MAG’s Representatives, Richard Manton, has distanced the organisation from any association whatsoever with the antics of the louts: ‘MAG has been promoting responsible and considerate riding for over 40 years.  An overwhelming majority of riders respect and uphold the principles of good roadcraft along with skillful and thoughtful use of our highways.  From time to time any activity can attract a hooligan element that reflects very badly on the individuals themselves.

‘These people are not riders in the proper sense, but irresponsible people on two wheels, just as some choose to act irresponsibly on four wheels – or on foot.  MAG would like to reiterate that those tearing through the streets on motorcycles with complete disregard for others are not a true representation of the majority of riders in the UK, and deserve to be prosecuted for breaches of the laws currently in place in the interests of public safety.’

The Chair of MAG, Selina Lavender, says the organisation is contacting the police and the local authorities to discuss how best to address these issues in the longer term.  ‘The laws already exist to prosecute these immature and irresponsible people.  We’re exploring whether there is a way MAG can assist with educating people to understand the idiocy of this behaviour and thereby use social pressure as a powerful tool to prevent a recurrence of such incidents in future.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org