Cheshire Police to crackdown on anti-social use of motorbikes

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Operational activity is being stepped up across the county to target the illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes.

'Operation Scrambler' was launched in Widnes, Runcorn and Ellesmere Port several months ago in response to concerns raised by local residents, will be rolled out to focus on riders across the rest of the county.

Officers will carry out high-visibility patrols in hotspot areas at key times and they will take action against anyone riding motor vehicles illegally and anti-socially, whether on or off road.

Chief Inspector Gareth Wrigley said: "Traditionally at this time of year, as the lighter nights set in and the weather gets warmer, we see a rise in the illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes across the county, and even though the coronavirus pandemic has seen restrictions put in place, we have still seen individuals and groups riding illegally and anti-socially on, and off, the county's roads.

"This is an issue that really matters to our communities and I want to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to crackdown on those responsible for this sort of behaviour."

Police have the power to seize scrambler bikes which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress. A warning is given first but if that fails to be effective and the bike is used in an anti-social way again it will be seized under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act.

Information from the public is vital in supporting Operation Scrambler. While members of the public have been reporting information which has proved useful and has helped officers to build up a bigger picture of what is happening across the county, officers are appealing for further information to help support investigations.

When reporting incidents of illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes, officers need as much detail as possible, including a detailed description of the bike and the rider, what they were wearing, names of the rider if possible and information about the location of where these bikes are being stored. Of particular value are photographs and videos of incidents, but police urge people to only take photos and video footage if it is safe to do so.

Chief Inspector Wrigley added: "We are grateful for the intelligence that we have already received from our communities as all of this information can be really valuable to our investigations.

"We are committed to working together with our local communities to tackle this issue. Rest assured every piece of actionable intelligence we receive will be followed up proportionately by each Local Policing Unit, and we will use this information to support any seizures and prosecutions where necessary. Our efforts will continue."

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: "The illegal and anti-social use of motorbikes is an issue that local residents often raise and I have raised these concerns with the Chief Constable. Recent incidents have highlighted how this can have a serious impact on individuals and communities.

"The results achieved to date in Widnes, Runcorn and Ellesmere Port could not have been achieved without the support of the public. The information and intelligence that has been provided has made a vital difference and I urge the public to continue to support Operation Scrambler."

Anyone with any information in relation to the illegal or anti-social use of motorbikes is urged to contact Cheshire Police by calling 101 and quote 'Op Scrambler' or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Fiona Doorbar
Thursday 11th June 2020 at 5:39 am
I personally don’t think there is an issue around here with this but why can the council not provide a similar scheme /helpline to eradicate the issue with the noisy and irresponsibly driven cars down our high street day in , day out??!!
David Smith
Tuesday 16th June 2020 at 10:29 pm
Oh well said Fiona! So who do I believe - you or the whole of Cheshire police who see fit to mount an operation against what they believe to be the illegal & antisocial use of motorbikes? Guess what - it isn’t you?