Police and council seek more powers to tackle anti-social use of motorbikes in east Leeds after spike in reports from fed-up residents
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Leeds City Council is looking into the possibility of using legislation to impose Public Space Protection Orders in areas such as Halton Moor, Temple Newsam, Killingbeck and Seacroft where there have been particular issues.
It would mean using motorbikes in an anti-social way is prohibited and breach of the order is an offence which could lead to a fine.
The authority is also looking at a city wide strategy to be drawn up for dealing with nuisance and illegal off-road biking.
Two motorcycles were seized by West Yorkshire Police in a day of action last Friday and so far this year the Off Road Bike Team has attended 539 callsfor service, issued 65 Section 59 Warnings, summonsed or ticketed 61 individuals and seized 73 vehicles.
Coun Debra Coupar said: "We are looking to see if we can use that legislation, which we have used for alcohol before and has been successful, for anti-social use of motorcycles as well then they have the powers to do what they need to do at the right time if that order is breached."
She said the issue of anti-social use and riding of motorbikes is an issue across the city but there had been a spike across the east Leeds area and this month, the Leeds East policing team outlined its priorities until summer and tackling off road bikes has been identified for Cross Gates, Killingbeck, Seacroft, Swarcliffe, Temple Newsam and Halton Moor.
Coun Coupar said: "Councillors and residents have raised concerns and we can see that it is being highlighted. It is a problem that is happening all over the city really but does seem to be a particular problem for us.
"We did not ought to be standing for it and robust action needs to be taken. Not many years ago we had a young girl died after being hit by a bike being ridden anti-socially. There are some really dangerous consequences and we need to get this across to these individuals.
"The police off-road team has helped and they have had a lot of success with seizing bikes and summonsing individuals. From my understanding they have been reassured by the police action that has been taken recently in east Leeds."
Insp Jodie Scatchard, who heads the Leeds East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We continue to work closely alongside our partner agencies to address issues of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area, and do everything we can to help keep the community feeling safe. The dangerous and anti-social use of off-road motorbikes and other similar vehicles is an issue that can have a significant impact on people’s quality of life, and it is something we take very seriously.
“We have specialist off-road bike officers who patrol hotspot areas to support the work of local neighbourhood officers and we regularly seize bikes and issue warning notices as well as taking other enforcement action in conjunction with Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team. We also work with schools and other young people’s organisations to raise awareness of the risks this activity creates for both the riders and members of the public.
“We encourage people to report any incidents, particularly if they have specific information about known individuals who are involved, so that we can take appropriate action. People can report off-road bike issues online using the West Yorkshire Police website www.westyorkshire.police.uk/form/report-nuisance-bikes
“A special injunction also remains in place in Leeds, which bans anyone from taking part in the anti-social driving of motor vehicles involving two or more vehicles in a public place anywhere in the Leeds district. It carries a power of arrest and also forbids people from promoting, organising or publicising the anti-social driving of motor vehicles.”
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