Police hail 70% drop in motorbike menaces in South Tyneside - and credit DNA spray as 'effective deterrent'

‘DNA spray’ is continuing to be an ‘effective deterrent’ to nuisance riders in South Tyneside, police have insisted.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 22 July, 2019, 16:45
A Northumbria Police officer tests out the spray as Pc Mike 'Spike' Fisher rides by.

Officers were armed with the new tool in September last year (2018) in an effort to crack down on illegal off-roading by motorbikes and mopeds.

And despite improved weather and lighter nights, which traditionally sees an increase in the problem, Northumbria Police says the number of reported incidents keeps going down.

“We’re continuing to see a reduction in the number of bike antisocial behaviour (ASB) reports,” said Sgt David Stobbs.

“There has been a 39% reduction in the last two months, compared to previous years.

“The spray continues to be an effective deterrent and we continue to drive the message out that we have got it and we will use it.”

In June, police chiefs said since the launch of the Selecta DNA Spray pilot in 2018 reports of motorbike-related ASB had dropped by 70%.

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The spray can mark equipment, clothing or skin with a uniquely-coded, invisible dye which can later be used to forensically link tagged evidence, individuals or items to a specific crime.

Officers told councillors at a meeting in June that police teams had not managed to get close enough to spray any one.

Once a person has been sprayed, there is a certain window of time where it stays on the person, so they must be found swiftly.

South Tyneside Council paid £1,738.80 towards a DNA spray scheme in a bid to crackdown on antisocial behaviour and crime involving mopeds and motorcycles.

Sgt Stobbs was speaking at a meeting of the West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum, where he also mentioned travellers who briefly set up camp at Temple Park.

He said: “There was no increase in crime, nothing we would usually associate with travellers arriving on site and they even appeared to have cleared up before they moved on.”