Tackling motorbike ASB in Newcastle
21 Jul 2016 13:12 PM[View Full Size]
Police in Newcastle are keeping residents in the picture about motorcycle anti-social behaviour.
As part of a newly launched summer operation, officers are using high powered camera equipment to help identify, catch and prosecute those responsible for riding motorbikes illegally and irresponsibly in the north of the city.
'Operation Scrambler' will see officers deploy this specialist equipment paired with overt patrols in the areas around Newbiggin Hall - in particular the Hareydene and Whorlton Hall areas where residents have told police that motorcycle ASB is a concern.
The main aim of the operation will be to stop those riding illegally and dangerously, however officers will also be using a new high powered specialist camera, which was bought by using an awarded Woolsington Ward grant, from Newcastle City Council, to capture photographic evidence of the offenders with a view to being able to take action at a later date.
Historically the issue preventing police taking action against riders has been being able to safely catch and identify them, but thanks to the new equipment officers can now take quality images to help identify those responsible.
They will then use officers' local knowledge and help from the public to identify and prosecute.
Image shows photo taken from 50 metres away - left is with new camera and right is with normal mobile phone / tablet camera.
Newcastle Sergeant Rob Bosson said: "We have had 40 calls since the start of June reporting illegal off road motorcycles being ridden either dangerously or generally causing a nuisance to residents in around the Newcastle North West Area. We take these reports seriously and work with our partners at the local authority to tackle this issue and ensure the safety of the public.
"Operation Scrambler has been launched to identify and put a stop to anyone who is caught riding illegally in the area by officers
and as a consequence may face being arrested, being disqualified from driving or have their motorbike seized from them or other criminal sanctions. It's a hard line we are taking but it's become a real problem for residents in the area and so we want to put a stop to it.
"The camera equipment that was kindly donated by the Woolsington Ward grant will make a huge difference and for the first time allows us to capture high definition pictures and footage of the offenders. This means if we don't catch them while they are riding the bikes we will stand a much better chance of identifying them and arresting them at a later date.
"We need the public's help for Op Scrambler to work. Please ring us and report illegal motorbikes being ridden where you live straight away, while it's happening, on the 101 number. People are also asked to take down and pass onto police any descriptions of illegal motorcycles and their riders and information like registration plates.
"We will also be publishing images of riders that we can’t identify so you can get involved and help us to identify and subsequently stop these nuisance riders"
Statement from an anonymous local resident in Newbiggin Hall : "I have lived here for a number of years and have always been happy. It's a great place to live and fantastic for views with fields for walking my dog and a safe environment for my young children to play in the local park but recently we have been plagued with motorbike disorder.
"I have told the police about it several times and they always turn out to try and catch the riders. The problem is that the motorbikes tear off when they see the police car and I know that the police cannot chase them across the fields or over the play park because of how dangerous it is for the riders and anyone else using the play park or walking along the footpaths.
"The motor bikers don't care about the danger they are putting other people in, the dog walkers and the children, it’s really very frightening.
"I'm very pleased to hear that the police have not given up trying and they still turn out every single time that I or my neighbours call them. I think that this new idea of filming the motorbikes and recording their dangerous behaviour will really help solve the problem.
"It's great that the community can be involved in identifying who the perpetrators are and helping the police make this community a safe place again. I really hope that the communities do get involved and that the police are able to continue their great work and innovative ideas."
Local Woolsington councillor George Pattison said: "Maverick motorbike riders are increasingly more and more dangerous to people who are going about their everyday business. The committee recognises the difficulty police face in arresting and prosecuting these people so we hope that this will be a lot easier for them with the use of this camera."
To report motorcycle ASB to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team ring 101.