Police to get 'Ghostbuster' weapon to stop e-bikes being used in crimes


British police could soon be equipped with a ground-breaking device to disable e-bikes being used by criminals to speed away from crimes.

The ‘Ghostbusters-style’ weapon would fire electro-magnetic rays to stop the engines of e-scooters and e-bikes being used in crimes.

Gavin Stephens, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said the device was in development and could be used within months, reported The Guardian newspaper.

They would be housed inside a backpack, reminiscent of the Ghostbuster devices used in the popular sci-fi films.

Mr Stephens told a media briefing: “Basically, it interferes with the electric motor, to trick the electric motor into thinking it is overheating.

“It sends a signal to confuse the electric motor. All these electric motors apparently have an inbuilt safety system that if it thinks it’s overheating, it shuts down.

“At the minute, it’s like a ginormous backpack.”

While used by many to travel sustainably, e-bikes and scooters have been used by some thieves to help in speeding away when snatching phones among other crimes.

Last month, City of London Police issued an appeal over dozens of mobile phone snatches carried out by suspects riding extremely fast e-bikes across the West End.

Development of the new tool is being overseen by the Defence Science and Technology Lab, which is administered by the Ministry of Defence.

It would work by tricking the engine into thinking it is overheating, forcing it to stop.

However, it requires a line of sight to work, Mr Stephens told the briefing.

Police already have technology to stop cars remotely using radio and electromagnetic waves, but officers hope the device will help combat crimes committed using other vehicles.