High-tech cameras set to help tackle nuisance riders in South Tyneside

High-tech cameras could be brought in to help tackle nuisance riders in South Tyneside.

By James Harrison
Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 6:00 am
Stock picture from Pixabay
Stock picture from Pixabay

Bikers have long been a source of trouble in the borough, with police repeatedly appealing for intelligence to identify them.

And officers hope that the new surveillance kit could give them the edge they need to take more off the streets for good.

“We’ve got powers in place to warn offenders, to seize bikes, to deal with them, but we also need to identify them – that’s one of the main sticking points,” said Sgt Philip Smailes.

“We’ve got some high definition long lens cameras, which our team in Sunderland have at the moment and we’re looking to purchase some for South Tyneside.

“These cameras can pick up facial recognition no problem and if we can get them on social media hopefully we can get them identified.

“Once that’s done we can take the action we need to take.”

Sgt Smailes, of Northumbria Police, was speaking at a meeting of the Hebburn Community Area Forum (CAF), which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

He added: “We’re desperate to take these bikes off the road and we’re doing the best we can, but unfortunately it’s not a quick fix.”

In June it was revealed the force’s Operation Bungo had seen at least 14 bikes taken off the road since May.

“I know we’ve had some successes, particularly with one individual near Finchale Road,” said Cllr John McCabe.

“This is ongoing ASB and we need people in the community to come forward and give us the names and addresses of perpetrators.

“Obviously people are reluctant to come forward [to police], but a lot do come through to councillors and I hope the police do too.”

Northumbria Police has previously introduced a ‘DNA spray’ to tag nuisance riders and their vehicles for future identification, which has been described as an ‘effective deterrent’.

Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 allows offending bikes to be seized by officers, although owners can also buy back their bikes after paying a fine.

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