Swindon North Sector neighbourhood policing officers are cracking down on people riding mini motos, off road bikes and quad bikes anti-socially and often illegally.
Wiltshire Police has launched a campaign with the Swindon Community Safety Partnership’s Anti-social Behaviour Unit and in partnership with the Woodland Trust to tackle the problem, which is expected to rise during the school summer holidays.
PC Marc Jackson, Community Beat Manager for the Swindon North Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), said: “This is an on-going problem in our community; since January we have had approximately 60 calls regarding motorcycle related anti-social behaviour in the North Sector of Swindon, and reports usually increase during the summer holidays.
“This campaign will focus on education and prevention. We hope that by raising awareness amongst riders and the general public that we can reduce the number of motorcycles being ridden illegally and reduce reports of anti-social behaviour.”
Associated problems reported to police include bikes being ridden on pavements and bridleways causing alarm to walkers and horse riders, noise from vehicles late at night and people feeling intimated by groups of young people riding these motorbikes.
As part of the campaign, there will be secondary school visits by officers and a member of the Anti-social Behaviour Unit before the summer holidays to educate youngsters about this issue.
In hot spot areas, patrols will be increased to identify offenders and posters will be displayed asking people to report anyone seen riding these vehicles illegally or in an anti-social manner.
In addition, letters and advice leaflets will be sent to known offenders, warning them of the campaign and the consequences if they are caught.
To raise awareness of the problem, the Community Safety Partnership will be running a week of action from Monday 18 June with the Swindon Safe bus parked at the North Orbital Shopping Centre (ASDA) on Thursday 21 June between 10am and 2pm.
The hot spot areas the police and partners will be targeting are: The northern expansion, Stratton Woods, Stanton Park, Mouldon Hill, Kingsdown, Upper Stratton, Merton Fields and Meadowcroft, Sevenfields and alleyways between Pinehurst, Penhill and Abbey Meads, and Pembroke Park in Moredon.
Actions the police can take against persistent offenders, if necessary, include seizing vehicles, after issuing Section 59 notices, and seeking Acceptable Behaviour Contracts. They can also issue fines for traffic offences and make arrests.
If you see motorcycles being driven illegally or in an anti-social manner, please call either:
· Wiltshire Police on 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency
· Swindon Community Safety Partnership’s Anti-social Behaviour Unit on 01793 445500
· Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information may be left anonymously if preferred
Members of the public are asked to make a note of the number plate, description of the bike and rider and any distinguishing features, such as transfers or stickers on the motorcycle.