Police in Epsom and Ewell recovered a stolen motorbike last Thursday (September 12) as they cracked down on the rising moped crime in the borough.

The targeted sweep conducted by Surrey Police was aimed at motorbike and moped crime in Epsom and Ewell, and witnessed police employ a futuristic "SelectaDNA" tagging spray to track several vehicles that refused to stop when asked on the day of action.

According to Surrey Police, Epsom and Ewell has seen a rise in moped and motorbike-enabled crime over the past year, including violent assaults, robberies and anti-social behaviour.

A borough-based team were aiming to tackle the problem last Thursday with extra officers out on patrol across Epsom and Ewell.

In total, 31 vehicles were stopped and a stolen motorbike recovered during the operation, which also witnessed police spray a number of non-compliant vehicles with a DNA tagging spray.

The 'SelectaDNA' spray can be aimed at mopeds and motorbikes believed to be illegal or anti-social behaviour which fail to stop when asked to do so by the police.

The spray marks the bikes, clothing and skin of any riders and passengers with a uniquely-coded but invisible DNA that will provide forensic evidence that could end up link them to a specific crime.

Casualty Reduction Officer PC Ed Ferris explained that the operation was aimed at reducing crime and also preventing future casualties on the roads.

"Tackling anti-social use of motor vehicles is at the core of reducing casualties on the roads, not only in Epsom and Ewell, but across the county and nationally as well.

"After noticing a considerable rise in moped and motorbike related crime, we decided to carry out an operation, which was supported by a number of our own officers, as well as colleagues from the Sussex Police Tactical Firearms Unit," he added.

"During the operation, we stopped over 25 vehicles, seized one motorcycle, located a stolen motorcycle and walked the equivalent of nine miles on foot patrol over several hours around the Longmead and Watersedge estates. A number of vehicles failed to stop for police during the operation.

"We also successfully used the DNA tagging spray throughout the day to target certain individuals and work remains ongoing to continue to identify and arrest particular offenders," PC Ferris said.

Borough Commander for Epsom and Ewell, Inspector Joe Easterbrook meanwhile added that the move demonstrated the borough police force were eager to tackle moped-based crime in the area.

"This operation demonstrates that we are prepared to tackle this issue and reassure our local communities that we have a zero tolerance for crimes of this nature," he said.