Crackdown on nuisance motorcyclists in Peterborough

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Nuisance motorcyclists who ride in residential areas of Peterborough are being targeted by a new police campaign.

Operation Backfire has been set up by police and the city council, under the Safer Peterborough Partnership, to tackle the problem.

The My Peterborough app

The My Peterborough app

It follows numerous complaints by residents fed up with people riding on footpaths or green areas near homes and often without helmets.

The summer months traditionally see a rise in the number of incidents and hot-spots have included areas of Dogsthorpe, Hampton, Werrington and Orton.

Inspector Matt Bill said officers would be out patrolling on off-road bikes and action would be taken against those caught committing offences, including the confiscation of uninsured bikes.

There have already been two successful Operation Backfire interventions.

On Sunday July 19, a 26-year-old man was stopped riding a pit bike in the Leighton area of Orton Malborne. Last Wednesday, July 22, a 14-year-old boy was stopped riding a moped at the Orton BMX track.

Both were issued with Section 59 warnings. These are issued to when a motor vehicle user is seen to contravene section 3 or 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (careless and inconsiderate driving and prohibition of off-road driving), and is causing, or is likely to cause, alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public.

These warnings are issued and held on the Police National Computer for 12 months, against the person and the vehicle. Should the rider/driver or vehicle be seen driving in such a manner again within this 12 month period, the vehicle can be seized.

Police are also working closely with council officers to target the most frequent offenders, who can be made subject of acceptable behaviour contracts or, if necessary, criminal behaviour orders.

Inspector Bill said: “This operation is about targeting those who use motorbikes or quad bikes either anti-socially, illegally, or dangerously in built-up residential areas.

“We are working with the council to tackle it from all angles but we also need the public to report incidents to us. They may know someone who has a motorbike and is using it unlawfully or anti-socially.

“If an incident doesn’t require an immediate police response, I would encourage them to use the city council’s My Peterborough app.”

The My Peterborough app allows residents to report issues from their smart phones and tablets.

It is free to download and available for iPhone, iPads and Android devices from the App Store or Google Play by searching for My Peterborough.

Graeme Clark, from the Safer Peterborough Partnership, said: “The app is quick and easy and is another way for people to get in touch and tell us about matters which mean something to them.

“Nuisance motorbikes are something which blight some of our communities and we want local people to help us tackle it by using the app to give us information about incidents of illegal motorbike use.

“To do this, open the app, follow the simple instructions and provide a few details and send it to us in confidence. Only staff dealing with the issue and the person reporting the matter will know that information has been provided.”