Off Road is Off Limits
Off Road is Off Limits - Putting the Brakes on Vehicle
Communities blighted by the dangerous, anti-social and illegal
use of off-road bikes are being urged to speak out anonymously to
help police take them off the streets in a new campaign launched
today (Thursday March 10th).
Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has joined forces
with crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and Merseyside
Police to launch the initiative which encourages people to come
forward with information about the location of unlicensed and
uninsured bikes so they can be seized.
The campaign will see leaflets being delivered to up to 15,000
homes in 'hotspot' areas across Merseyside, asking people to give
information about the use of nuisance bikes and where they are
being stored anonymously to Crimestoppers, who are only interested
in what information callers have, not who they are.
Today a giant 'ad-van' featuring the campaign message will
travel around areas which have already been seriously affected by
the misuse of off-road bikes, including Stockbridge Village, Bootle
and Litherland, while a radio campaign will also take the message
into thousands of households across Merseyside.
CCTV footage, captured by City Watch, has also been released to
highlight the dangerous way the bikes are being used. The video
clip shows a number of examples including a group of riders driving
dangerously around the city centre on Christmas day, riders driving
through red lights and through Chavasse Park and one rider holding
up traffic 'doughnutting' by using their handbrake to repeatedly
spin their bike.
The launch comes just 9 days after 20-year-old James Kinsella,
from Bootle, was jailed for 12 months after being caught on camera
riding an off-road motorbike through the Strand Shopping Centre in
Bootle on January 7th this year, narrowly missing shoppers
including mums with prams.
Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "The footage
we are releasing today, and that from last week of James Kinsella
driving wildly through the streets of Merseyside, show just a few
examples of how these bikes are being used to terrorise
neighbourhoods and cause misery and suffering to law-abiding
members of society.
"Not only are these bikes noisy, intimidating and dangerous,
they are contributing to anti-social behaviour and we know they are
being used by gangs who are committing serious crime by
transporting drugs and weapons.
"I have heard time and time again from residents that they
want us to put a stop to this kind of behaviour. That's why we are
launching this campaign today - taking the message out into some of
the worst affected areas that we do take this behaviour very
seriously and the police will take these bikes off the streets, but
we need the public's help!
"By providing information anonymously to Crimestoppers about
where these unlicensed, uninsured bikes are being stored and who is
using them, the public can help the police to find them and seize
"There is absolutely no need for callers to give their name or
any of their personal details. They don't even need to speak to the
police. They can tell Crimestoppers in private and in confidence.
By doing so, they will be helping to make their communities
Following the launch in Stockbridge Village today, the day the
ad-van will visit the surrounding areas, before touring Toxteth and
Dingle and Bootle and Litherland and over the next couple of weeks,
leaflets and posters will also be distributed across key hotspot
areas in Liverpool 8, Sefton, Kirkby and the Wirral.
Merseyside Police also recently ran a poster competition across
schools in Bootle, Seaforth and Litherland aimed at engaging with
younger pupils, and helping them to express how they feel about the
antisocial use of these bikes.
Merseyside Police's Superintendent Jenny Simms said: "Nuisance
riders have a real impact on the lives of lots of people across
"We have seen incidents of scrambler and off-road bikes being
ridden in a dangerous and anti-social way, often on public
highways. I want to send a clear message to the people riding these
bikes that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour and we will
continue to take action to seize those bikes we believe have been
used in this way.
"Cracking down on these bikes is a real priority for us but we
cannot tackle this problem alone. We need our communities to be our
eyes and ears to tell us who are using these bikes and where they
are being stored. We will act on all the information we receive and
use every power that is available to the Force to search both
inside and outside premises.
"Operation Brookdale is an example of our continuing commitment
to getting these bikes off the road. In just a three month period
last year we seized 176 scrambler and off-road bikes and arrested a
total of 59 people. I want to reassure our communities that work
will continue to be done to tackle this issue."
Crimestoppers in Merseyside receives over 4,000 pieces of
anonymous information each year, which lead to a significant number
of arrests and positive action taking against those who seek to
damage our communities.
Crimestoppers' North West Regional Manager Gary Murray said: "I
would appeal to the public to contact us about where these bikes are stored and who is using them.
"Together we can get these bikes off the streets and make them
safer for your family. We do not know the identity of anyone who
contacts us or cannot trace your call, we just want your
information, not your name".
Anyone with information about where these bikes are being stored
or has any information should contact Crimestoppers anonymously
24/7 on 0800 555 111.
Information can also be passed anonymously through the charity's
website at https://crimestoppers-uk.org