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PC Simon Peacock explains how police are tackling motorcycle nuisance in Millbrook

Hampshire Constabulary Media Release

PC Simon Peacock explains how police are tackling motorcycle nuisance in Millbrook

As the summer is drawing nearer, the temperature rises and the long evenings get even longer, we want to ensure you can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about motorcycle nuisance.

Officers in Millbrook are actively cracking down on motorcyclists riding dangerously on green spaces and footpaths. You may have seen our appeals for information, names and images of these riders, but you might feel like little is being done and you’re left wondering, why do we need your help?

We compiled all the comments posted online in response to our last appeal and put PC Simon Peacock from Redbridge Police Station in the hot seat to explain exactly what police in Millbrook are trying to do this summer, with your help.

I call the police and make a report, but no one ever turns up.

PC Simon Peacock said: “This is a common concern and I can understand why. In most cases we will not go to the area of the sighting; but attend areas we know the riders visit in order to catch them as they arrive, or where we can lay in wait for them. So you might not see us, but we are likely in another area waiting for them. When we do attend the area of the sighting, the riders do disappear for a while, giving the community some respite.”

Why can’t you stop them or chase them?

PC Simon Peacock said: “When we attend the location they are reported to be, the riders make off at speed, often putting other members of the public at risk. We do not to pursue vehicles that are driving dangerously that are likely to put the driver/rider, passengers, other road users or pedestrians at risk. From my experience, when these motorbikes see the police they ride off and have no regard for anyone else’s safety as they are only interested in escaping from us.”

Why do I have to identify riders? Sounds like lazy policing.

PC Simon Peacock said: “When we attend a location, the riders often have their faces covered and leave the area at speed. We are asking members of the public to help in identifying them as you are more likely to see them without them trying to shield their identity. Residents also might see riders go to and from garages and houses where the bikes are stored, and names, descriptions and addresses give us the best leads to identify them and pursue a prosecution. That’s why we have been asking the community to take photos and videos of possible offenders and send them to us.”

Can’t you take pictures and film yourselves?

PC Simon Peacock said: “Yes we can. More often that not though, riders make off at speed as soon as they see us which makes it difficult for us to capture anything valuable. You stand a better chance of seeing them and being able to take a photo of them, especially when they have removed their face masks and this gives us the evidence we need to prosecute.”

I’m concerned about taking photos and continually reporting though as I don’t want to get involved.

PC Simon Peacock said: “That’s understandable. I would only advise you to take photos or film if you are able to discretely and feel comfortable doing so. You can report to us anonymously and your report will be treated with the utmost sensitivity. A witness statement is more valuable to pursue a prosecution however community intelligence and information is hugely important in this role. You hear things that we don’t. Talk from neighbours, friends and family. Please call 101 and leave a message for me and I will get back to you.”

What happens when you catch them?

“I’m going to have to go into the Road Traffic Act but don’t fall asleep!”
“We have several powers to deal with offences relating to motorcycles and motorcycle nuisance. Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act allows us to seize an uninsured vehicle or if the rider is driving without a license. We will do this routinely with these bikes.
“Section 59 of the Police Reform Act gives us the power of seizure if the rider has been previously warned for anti-social vehicle nuisance (ASB driving/riding). We will always do this if it has been previously warned.
“We can also issue fines in the way of fixed penalty notices (FPN).
“If we believe the rider is unaware of the law and would benefit from a warning / education they will be warned under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act for riding anti-socially. This wouldn’t apply to those riders who make off from Police, cover their faces, ride dangerously or cause significant nuisance and have previous offending history for similar offences, those riders will be dealt with more robustly.”

What information do you need then?

• Type, make and model of the motorbike.
• Colour and any stickers, numbers or other distinguishing marks on the vehicle.
• Description of the rider and crash helmet if applicable
• Where the motorbike has come from and where it is going

I ride a motorcycle, where am I supposed to ride and what are the legal requirements?

PC Simon Peacock said: “You must be insured, have an MOT certificate, have valid road tax and you must wear a helmet and you must only ride on the road or private land.

“It is against the law to use a go-ped, mini-moto, quadbike or motorbike in public parks, open spaces or on footpaths, pavements, cycle routes and bridleways.

“If you’re under 16-years-old, the only place that you can ride a go-ped, mini-moto, quad bike or motorbike is on private land, but you must have the permission of the landowner.

“If you’re over 16-years-old, you can use a go-ped, mini-moto, quadbike or motorbike on the road if you meet certain legal requirements or on private land if you have the landowner’s permission.

“We don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun, but riding without these requirements is illegal and dangerous. It is not the responsibility of the police to provide riders with areas they can legally ride their vehicles. You will need access to private land or membership of a motocross club to enjoy your hobby legally.”

Last year your Neighbourhood Policing team successfully prosecuted 19 people for various road traffic offences of using motorcycles. Ten motorbikes were seized that had been used without Insurance and/or the rider not having a license.

This year, with your help, we are looking to seize more bikes, prosecute dangerous riders and educate those about riding safely and legally.

We continue to work with our partners at Southampton City Council to ensure residents are safe and damage to green public spaces is kept to a minimum.

We want to provide the service you expect and we can only do that together. Call us on 101, report it. We’ll do the rest.

Issued by Corporate Communications

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