South Tyneside parents urged not to buy children 'illegal' motorbikes for Christmas

Parents are being urged to steer clear of buying ‘illegal mopeds or bikes’ for their children this Christmas in a bid to clamp down on crime.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 5:16 pm
Picture from Pixabay as parents urged not to buy children 'illegal' motorbikes or mopeds for Christmas

Parents are being urged to steer clear of buying ‘illegal mopeds or bikes’ for their children this Christmas in a bid to clamp down on crime.

The plea comes as figures revealed complaints to police about incidents involving the vehicles have surged by more than a fifth over the last year.

The trend has been branded ‘disturbing’ by borough leaders, who have promised new measures to try and tackle the issue.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Christmas is coming up and we don’t want parents buying illegal mopeds or bikes,” said Coun John McCabe, of South Tyneside Council.

“Come the New Year we’re going to, with the help of the police, take strict and decisive action against these perpetrators – we have almost had a fatality and that is no exaggeration.”

He added: “I’m not prepared to sit here and next year have some young child knocked down and killed.”

Coun McCabe was speaking at a meeting on Monday, November 25 of the council’s Hebburn Community Area Forum (CAF), where he has previously warned about the dangers of ‘nuisance riders’, especially bikers using the Monkton Mineral Line.

According to a report for the panel, between April and September 2019 there were 106 ‘motorcycle disorder incidents’ in Jarrow and Hebburn.

Council bosses have previously promised to install barriers on the route to deter riders.

English highways rules allow councils to use gates and other obstacles to ensure safety, but also require them to take account of other users, such as wheelchairs, prams and mobility scooters.

An ‘A frame’ entrance is being considered as it is hoped this would ‘allow access for pedestrians, cyclists, prams and mobility scooters, whilst still restricting access for most types of motorbikes’.

An application for funding to secure this is expected to be presented to the CAF early in the New Year. The possibility of adding CCTV is also being considered, although riders’ helmets often means identifying potential offenders through footage is difficult.

Many riders are thought to head to South Tyneside from Newcastle and Gateshead, where Northumbria Police’s Operations Benelli has seen ‘good results’, but there are currently no plans to extend it into the borough.

Officers also called for members of the public to report possible offences involving motorbikes.

Sgt Claire Fada said: “We still need information, if you know where they [motorbikes] are being stored tell us and we will act.”