Day of action on nuisance off-road bikes
Merseyside Police and the Police Commissioner are reminding people of the dangers of off-road motorbikes, which continue to make headlines and cause misery within our communities.
The ongoing force ‘Operation Brookdale’ was originally introduced in 2012 as a response to a rise in incidents, specifically over the summer period, and is now run all year round, working alongside partners from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS), National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter, local authorities, housing associations, schools and youth groups to target the anti-social and nuisance use of off-road bikes.
It utilises resources from Local Policing and other specialist departments to target individuals causing vehicle related ASB in our communities. Tactics range from intelligence gathering, to overt disruption and the execution of warrants. The aim is to:
- tackle serious and organised crime
- Prevent crime and anti-social behaviour
- Provide a visible and accessible neighbourhood policing style
- Working with partners to improve road safety
- Maintain public safety and protect vulnerable persons
Since its inception we have seen a year on year decrease in reports of anti-social behaviour and nuisance involving off-road motorbikes across Merseyside. More than 150 bikes have been seized in the last 12 months, many of which have been found to be stolen and have been reunited with their owners.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Scrambler bikes and quad bikes continue to cause danger to other road users in Merseyside, and their use in residential areas is a nuisance and destroys the peace. Merseyside Police has been working hard to prevent the dangers of these bikes off our roads. Through Operation Brookdale and with the support of partners, the number of reports about the dangerous and nuisance use of off-road bikes has decreased over the last nine years.
“Although this is good news we are not complacent. These up-coming days of action will reinforce the clear message that we will not tolerate these dangerous bikes in our communities. They bring misery to the lives of hard-working, decent people and endanger the safety of innocent road users and pedestrians, as well as being used to carry out serious crimes.
“But the police need the public’s help if we are to put a stop to their use. I ask anyone with information about these bikes – who is using them or where they are being stored - to contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously and in confidence. They don’t need your name or details, just the information you hold. Thank you to everyone who already spots the dangerous use of the bikes and reports it. You are helping to make our roads and neighbourhoods safer places to be.”
Inspector Jordan Quinn, said: "Although reports of the anti-social and nuisance use of off-road motorbikes have decreased, which is extremely encouraging for us and our communities, we know that the problem has not gone away. It is still affecting people’s lives, and we are determined to drive down these numbers even more, until the problem is completely removed for our communities.
“This reduction is the result of a concerted effort across many different agencies, from local authorities, schools, youth groups, housing associations, and not least people within the communities affected. We know that some areas still suffer from problems but we see success on a daily basis, with officers acting on information to remove these bikes from the streets and it makes a genuine difference to people’s lives.
“Key to all of the good results we see is information from the public and our partners, and we need this to continue. Our best chance of removing this threat is always to know where bikes are being stored before they get out on the streets. If you know where bikes are being stored, either in homes, storage units or elsewhere, please come forward and we will act on all information provided.
“We all have a part to play in keeping our roads, pavements and green spaces safe. As we have sadly seen, it only takes one reckless action from a rider to devastate families and communities”.
Anyone with information on who is using these bikes and where they are being stored is asked to message @MerPolCC, or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111. Follow your local policing Twitter and Facebook pages to see some of the successes of Operation Brookdale, and how you can provide information.