Brakes put on motorbike disorder in South Shields

03 Mar 2017 12:00 PM

Neil Temple Park [View Full Size]

Police in South Tyneside are putting the brakes on motorbike disorder after concerns from the local community.

In recent weeks, police have seen a rise in reports of scrambler and off-road bikes causing a nuisance in Temple Park in South Shields.

Riding an off-road bike in a public place is illegal - and they cannot be used on private land without the landowners permission.

Patrols are being increased throughout the park and police are asking for the public's help in identifying those responsible.

Those caught could see their motorbike crushed and face a driving ban before they have even passed their driving test.

Police want local residents to come forward with information about who the motorbikes belong to.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird DBE QC, said: "This proactive policing activity should serve as a warning to others who think it’s ok to break the law and ride motorbikes in public places.

"Not only are these irresponsible people putting themselves at risk but also the safety of others and that’s why I want to urge local residents who see anything to make sure they let the police know so they can look into it and catch those responsible."

Neighbourhood Inspector Denise Townsley, from Harton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Scrambler and off-road motorbikes are being ridden through Temple Park causing a nuisance to the majority of people who want to be able to enjoy the park.

"Not only is this a danger and someone could end up getting hurt but it is illegal, off-road motorbikes cannot be ridden on public land, they can only be ridden on private land where the owner has given permission.

"We really need members of the public to work with us to tackle this issue, local residents will know who the bikes belong to, they will know where they are kept and who rides them and we want them to tell us.

"If we know who those response are we can take action against them and this could ultimately see them having the bike taken off them and crushed. A lot of these motorbike riders are only teenagers and many haven't even passed their driving test yet - those whose behaviour is persistent could see themselves put before the courts where they could be given a driving ban which will delay them passing their driving test event more."

The work of Harton Neighbourhood Policing Team supports South Shields Neighbourhood Policing Team who have been proactively targeting nuisance motorbike riders.

Last year a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was introduced across the whole of the Borough to stop people from using motorbikes in public places.

Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "It is disappointing that off-road bikers have such disregard for Temple Park which is a well-used and loved park in the Borough.

"They pose a real risk to the safety of both the rider and law abiding members of the public. Despite many of the bikes not even being roadworthy, they are often driven recklessly at high speeds, without insurance or an MOT certificate and the riders don’t tend to wear any safety equipment.

"We are committed to working with our partners to tackle anti-social behaviour, and we need the help of local people. We are calling on residents to play their part and report incidents in the park and their local area. We want to nip issues like this in the bud and to ensure South Tyneside remains a safe place to live for everybody."

Anyone who breaches a PSPO risks a £100 fine. Failure to pay may result in criminal proceedings with a maximum penalty of £1,000. They can be enforced by the Police, Police Community Support Officers and any authorised officer of the Council.

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