Christopher Moraff Talks Bait Bikes on Dom Giordano

The Philly Post’s Christopher Moraff was on the Dom Giordano show today discussing yesterday’s column about the Philly Police Department’s bait bike program, which he called a publicity stunt:

I have no love for scumbags who ride off with other people’s property. But I don’t believe for a second the problem of bike theft will get solved by staging publicity stunts disguised as police work. Sure, orchestrating a theft where one would not have otherwise occurred with the intention of making a single arrest may offer a momentary surge of karmic satisfaction. And it gives police the opportunity to look like heroes to the city’s growing cyclist community—PR the department badly needs; but at the end of the day, the net effect on bike thefts in the city will be exactly zilch (unless you count the bait bike itself, which I’m guessing no one actually rides anyway). That’s because these kinds of programs—which come dangerously close to entrapment (in spirit, if not in law)—are exponentially more likely to net simple opportunists than serial bike thieves.

Give a listen.

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  • rottonralph

    Interesting. Its apparently bad to bait poor kids with an unlockoed bike but OK to entrap Johns. Please comment. Will you be consistent?

  • cmoraff

    Well for one thing I never said it was okay to bait Johns. I only used it as an example. When it comes to prostitution I personally think we could learn something from the Dutch. And don’t even get me started on the drug war. But since you asked, they are not the same thing: soliciting a prostitute is not a crime of opportunity. It requires intent. When police set out a decoy hooker (or do a reverse drug sting) they are catching people who went to a specific location with the intent to commit a crime. In other words, a crime would occur with or without the police orchestrating things. The police are getting who they set out to get. Bait bike is different. I’d guess that 90% of the people they catch are walking down the street with no intention of doing anything illegal until the opportunity presents itself. – CM

  • Jane Yavis

    Tell me this isn’t the same Dom Giordano who rails against red light cameras and the Police Union, is always talking about the Police not doing their job, Police Check Points and hails the freedom of Law Abiding Citizens’ right to drive while on Cell Phones other Electronic Devices ,,,, all while exercising their right to “Open Carry.

    Who is this man they call Dom, and where will his slippery slope take him next????