Police Form Motorcycle Units to Chase Criminals

Monday, April 29, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—Apparently alarmed by a surge in crime involving suspects riding on motorcycles in southern Metro Manila, the Southern Police District has formed motorcycle units as a counter measure.

Called the Tactical Motorcycle Riders Units (TMRU), most members of the newly-formed squads are recruited from the ranks of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units of the Pasay, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Parañaque, Makati and Las Piñas cities. Only the Municipality of Pateros has yet to form its own unit as it still lacks motorcycles.

SPD director, Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte described the TMRU as a mobile, well-trained tandem riding police personnel whose principal task is to stop, chase and frisk motorcycle riders who fit the current police profile of criminals riding on motorcycles.

Villacorte said the project - which was first proposed by then National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief and now Philippine National Police chief, Alan Purisima – intends to increase chance of detection and arrest of criminals and reduce the “fear of crimes.”

“No more waiting at checkpoints for them (criminals) to pass by. This time we give chase. Let our people see our riders chase, stop tandem riders who fit the description of criminals,” said Villacorte.

Villacorte said the project, which was officially launched Monday at the SPD headquarters in Taguig City, initially involves 69 riders who have been trained in marksmanship and motorcycle ridership. Villacorte said the project would still be expanded to recruit more trained riders and acquire additional motorcycles.

At present the most number of riders come from the Parañaque Police at 20 followed by Las Piñas (15), Taguig (10), Muntinlupa (9), Makati (8) and Pasay (7).

Acccording to Villacorte, last year, there were 183 crimes reported to the SPD that involved suspects who were riding in tandem on motorcycles.

“The need for maintaining these TMRUs can never be over-emphasized. We still need more,” he said.

“There are many criminals now who exploit the inability of police officers to chase them through the narrow streets of Metro Manila. We expect these streets to get narrower even more as more vehicles hit the streets and traffic gets worse. This is why need more of these motorcycle units to go after these criminals,” Villacorte added.

Villacorte said TMRUs would be effective against crimes that involve motorcycle-riding suspects as such bag snatchers, kidnappers, pawnshop robbers, bank robbers and even assassins.

Villacorte also said that TMRU members would also get additional training from the PNP’s Highway Patrol Group saying that basic motorcycle riding skills are inadequate for members of the TMRU.

*originally posted here.