Nuisance bikers who bring misery to communities in Leeds are feeling the force of the law as police crack down on those responsible.
An unauthorised Halloween ‘ride out’ involving dozens of motorbikes created chaos on the city’s streets.
But the more typical day-to-day complaints are caused by a small number of individuals riding recklessly in their own neighbourhoods.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said the cause of concern tended to be activities such as people riding without helmets on unregistered trials bikes, riding across roundabouts, churning up golf courses and excessive noise.
“Clearly there are offences being committed there under the Road Traffic Act, but intervening when that act is going on is inherently dangerous for us and the public,” he said.
“What we don’t want is for someone to lose control of a quad bike, for instance, and run into a bus stop. I don’t think we could justify to a loved one someone losing their life in circumstances like that.”
I gave a commitment then that we weren’t going to stand for this kind of thing and we’re not.Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander
Following the ride out, Leeds City Council was granted a district-wide injunction which bans the anti-social riding of any vehicle in groups of two or more in any public place.
It has proved a useful tool for police, who have served the injunction on 41 people and had no breaches to date.
Chief Supt Money said: “The ride out was unprecedented at the time. We did have three or four other attempts to pull together a ride out where we intervened with the threat of the injunction. I gave a commitment then that we weren’t going to stand for this kind of thing and we’re not.”
He said the injunction had given officers the ability “to put the pressure on” offenders, particularly at a local level where neighbourhood teams often know who the perpetrators are and can use it to prevent further issues.
“Stepping up from that, where we get more problem use, we’re linking in with Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team,” he said. “It’s often associated with multiple offenders, rather than individual offenders.
“On top of that, we’ve retained our Off Road Bike Team. They can get involved in harder edged interference activity.”
Tackling the issue of anti-social riding of motorbikes and quadbikes is a priority for a number of neighbourhood policing teams, particularly in hotspots such as Seacroft, Middleton and Armley.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money said: “We will prioritise it as a local issue if residents tell us that is what’s causing them problems.
“What we don’t always get are the details of those involved and almost always it’s a local person.
“We’re very grateful for intelligence on the individuals involved. We would reassure people that confidences would be maintained.”