Police are working in North Swindon to tackle an increase in the anti-social use of mopeds and motorbikes by young people.
Due to the lighter evenings and warmer weather, we have seen an increase in the number of anti-social behaviour riding incidents, where (mainly) young men ride these machines along footpaths, the wrong way down main roads and across parkland and at times choose to do this at dangerous speeds.
Sometimes, these bikes are not roadworthy and are ridden recklessly with the rider not wearing protective clothing like helmet and gloves.
However, recent additional patrols in the Pinehurst area and investigative work has led to a number of illegal bikes being seized. (see attached photo).
On Sunday 10 June, an overnight operation by officers resulted in the arrest of two teenage boys and the seizure of two mopeds in the Pinehurst area.
A 15-year-old from Swindon was charged with driving whilst disqualified and with no insurance and a 16-year-old from Swindon was charged with taking a moped without consent.
The 15-year-old appeared before Swindon Magistrates on Monday 11 June and was subsequently released on conditional bail and the 16-year-old was released on unconditional bail and is due before magistrates on 3 July.
Swindon North Community Policing Inspector Andy Bridge said: “We are working in the community to reduce the number of anti-social incidents involving illegal riders on mopeds and motorbikes in the Pinehurst area.
“We know that the actions of a few can make life miserable for the majority of those living in the community. I want to reassure the community that we are working hard to combat this behaviour with visible patrols and a lot of intelligence work going on behind the scenes to help us build up a picture of who might be responsible and prosecute them.
“These riders are risking not only the safety of others but their own safety.
“I appreciate people can get frustrated when they see these youths breaking the law and the question is often asked: ‘why are the police not doing more like chasing and catching these individuals there and then?’
“I want to reassure the public that we have a number of tactics that we can use to stop these individuals but the risks involved have to be carefully assessed against all the circumstances before they can be used and it may not always be appropriate to use them.
“We will, however, follow up on intelligence and evidence gathered in the course of investigations and prosecute those who are responsible.
“In some incidents, other crimes have been carried out with the use of mopeds. e.g. street robberies – where mobile phones have been snatched from people. Although few in number these are a cause for concern and we are also concentrating our efforts to tackle this.
“As part of our on-going work we also need the public’s help in identifying these individuals, the majority of which live in our community.
“Someone will know where they live, where they store these bikes and even where they get fuel from. If that is you, please come forward by calling 101 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
“There are also times when the machines used in these crimes are stolen and we would like to appeal to moped and motorcycle owners to make sure their bikes are secure when left.
Make sure your bike is locked overnight, if possible in a secure building like a garage. Also, when leaving your bike in a public car park or space, make sure you lock it, remove the key and if possible secure it with an additional chain and lock to deter thieves.”