Police predict rise in nuisance rider complaints in South Tyneside

Police have predicted an impending rise in nuisance rider complaints and urged the public to help them identify offenders.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 5:45 pm
A stunted-up picture of a police officer testing out a DNA spray used to help catch rogue riders.
A stunted-up picture of a police officer testing out a DNA spray used to help catch rogue riders.

Motorbike-related disorder has been an issue in South Tyneside and the rest of the North East for several years now.

And despite a recent lull, officers are expecting longer days and better weather to bring an increase in reports.

“We’re moving very much into that time of year when motorbikes are going to be becoming more prevalent,” said Inspector Phil Baker, of Northumbria Police who is responsible for the West Shields and the Riverside areas of South Shields.

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“The team is already starting to look at some of our operations and putting that back in place but, and I know I say this a lot, we need assistance from [the public] to tell us where these bikes are and who’s got them.

“They can tell us anonymously, but that’s what we really need and that’s what gives us a starter for 10.”

Insp Baker was speaking at a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Riverside Community Area Forum (CAF), which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

He added officers would be using handheld cameras to try and collect evidence on possible offenders where possible.

However, as these are considered a ‘force resource’ he also hoped to arrange funding to secure more equipment for use in South Tyneside.

Insp Baker also raised the prospect of section 59 orders being used against offenders, which allows officers to seize vehicles being used ‘in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance to the public’ if the driver has previously been warned about their behaviour.

Anne Hetherington, cabinet member for independence and wellbeing, said: “People are using our parks more for recreational purposes and we can’t afford to have accidents within the parks when people are using them legitimately.

“You do get individuals who are actually racing each other and we have got regular contacts with our residents who use the park who are extremely concerned about it.”

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