Police plan drone battle against motorbike menaces in South Shields

Police are planning to use eye-in-the-sky drones to crackdown on motorbike riders who are putting lives in danger in a part of South Tyneside.

Saturday, 15th July 2017, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 7:53 am
A DJI Inspire 1s drone in flight, as Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police launch the first fully operational drone unit used by police at Westpoint Arena in Clyst St Mary, near Exeter, in co-operation with Dorset Police. Picture by Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The move is being considered after concerns have again been raised by residents over wreckless riders causing a risk to pedestrians.

Local police officers are now in talks with fire chiefs at South Shields Fire Station over the possibility of using their drone to capture evidence.

The move emerged at a meeting of the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum.

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Sergeant Julie Beattie said the discussions are in the early stages and the footage from the airborn cameras could be used to track down those responsible, so action can be taken.

Over the years a number of initiatives have been launched by police and council chiefs to tackle rogue riders in the Temple Park area of the town and a number of bikes have been seized.

Despite this, some riders continue to flout the law putting both their lives and those of residents at risk.

Drones are already used by Devon and Cornwall and Dorset police forces who have become the first in the country to have operational drone units.

Sgt Beattie said: “We are in the early stages of discussion with the fire brigade as to whether or not we can use their drone.

“This will help us to get close up footage of the motorbikes and those causing anti-social behaviour which can then be used to track down those responsible.”

“If people do know who these people are, where they gather, where they are storing these vehicles to pass that information on, and this can be done anonymously, and we will follow it up.”

Coun Alex Donaldson said: “We have children playing out and these people are pulling wheelies and they are out of control and one of these kids is going to be killed.

“It is a big problem and anything that can be done to try and tackle this issue has to be a good thing.”

A spokesman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said; “At this stage we have not received any formal request from Northumbria Police regarding the use of our drone at Temple Park.”