At least two moped-riding thieves suffered broken bones when they were rammed by police cars, the Metropolitan Police commissioner said.
The Met’s tough new approach to moped gangs was unveiled this month with dramatic footage of officers ramming thieves off their scooters in London.
The tactic has received a lot of praise from the community and former officers but some have criticised it as dangerous.
Commissioner Cressida Dick said pursuit drivers are “supremely well trained” and the ramming method has resulted in only a “very small” number of injuries.
“At least one person who broke their arm and another who had some sort of break,” she told Channel 5 on Friday.
“My officers make life-and-death decisions every day of the week, they’re very accountable. They make the best possible decisions. We are in a risk business.”
Ms Dick said the freedom to ram scooters was brought in to deter moped crime.
“We’ve had to put the fear back into the criminal,” she said.
“These are people who have been repeatedly left in no doubt whatsoever that there’s a police car right behind them.
“If you look over your shoulder and drive on as fast as possible, putting the public in danger, you should expect we will come after you.”
Ms Dick weighed in on another debate around the potential use of armed officers to patrol streets on foot when gang violence is imminent.
Scotland Yard is considering allowing the tactic in “extreme circumstances” to support the force’s largely unarmed officers.
Tottenham MP David Lammy criticised the idea as “an attempt to put out fire with fire” that risks turning streets “into armed battlegrounds”.
Ms Dick said there had been a “huge misunderstanding” around the proposal.
“I have no intention of causing armed officers to be routinely walking around the suburbs, except when it might be really necessary,” she said.
“Rest assured I’m not going to ask firearm officers to do more unless there’s a reason to do it. Huge misunderstanding.”
Ms Dick also said she was concerned for police safety around firework attacks after footage emerged of Durham officers being pelted with crackers.
“(It) absolutely looks like it’s getting worse. Things are so visual now,” she said.
“No officer comes to work to be assaulted. It’s a crime. We should reduce the possibility of it.”
She feared such incidents could be getting worse because of the internet.
“There are times in your career you will end up assaulted in some way,” she said.
“The things we’ve seen recently are more shocking, because what you see is that people have enjoyed making a video of it, as if it’s a game.”