News

Specialist task-force set up to tackle motorcycle disorder

08 Oct 2018 14:00 PM

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A specialist team of officers has been set up to crackdown on motorcycle disorder - and they've already arrested 26 people in just two months.
Officers across the Force receive complaints every single day about persistent and nuisance motorcycle riding that makes their lives hell.
Investigations have found that a large number of the motorcycles involved are actually stolen and linked to other types of criminal behaviour.
A number of different tactics have been used to reduce the problem and put those responsible for the anti-social behaviour before the courts.
But now a special task force has been set up to bring an end to motorcycle disorder in some of the most badly affected areas.
In the eight weeks since their formation they have already seen a significant fall in reports - and 26 people have also been arrested.
Detective Inspector Mal Stratton, who oversees the work of the team, said the task force has been set up in response to community concerns.
He said: "One of the biggest complaints we get from our local communities is for anti-social behaviour involving motorcycles.
"They can be noisy, intimidating and are often ridden in a dangerous and aggressive manner. This can ruin the lives of those who live in an area where this is a problem.
"Often these 125cc-type motorcycles have been stolen and are linked to other types of criminal activity that has a negative impact on the local community.
"We know that this is not something that is happening in one specific area and requires action across the board to support effected residents.
"That is why we have set up a dedicated task-force and the work they have been doing is already beginning to have an impact.
"However, their success can only continue with the support of the public as you are the eyes and ears where you live.
"We want you to report issues with motorcycle disorder directly to this team. If it safe to do so then take pictures, take videos and send it to our detectives so we can help make your community a better place to live."
The team covers Newcastle and Gateshead and are made up of a number of experienced and specialist officers based at Etal Lane Police Station.
They review every incident where a motorcycle has been used in an anti-social manner and try to establish any patterns of behaviour.
Prolific offenders are monitored and victims are spoken to in a bid to build up an intelligence picture of those involved in the disorder.
The team will then look to secure warrants on addresses linked to the anti-social behaviour and that has already resulted in a number of significant arrests.
Drugs, weapons, money and stolen property have all been seized by the task-force due to their enquiries into anti-social behaviour.
Detective Inspector Stratton hopes that their good work can continue and said it is not as simple as just pursuing those riding illegally.
He said: "Those involved in this type of disorder are not just bored teenagers. Often the bikes are stolen and the riders are involved in serious criminality.
"Our officers are not always able to pursue these offenders as they are being driven in heavily residential areas where it would not be safe for us to stop them.
"However, there are a number of different tactics we have been using to identify who they are and a number of people have already been put before the courts.
"We are trying to work with partners to identify diversionary programmes for young people but we cannot let this type of behaviour go unchecked.
"If you know anyone who has stolen a motorcycle or is riding in an anti-social manner then we need you to do the right thing and inform the police."
The team have seized dozens of motorcycles linked to crime and disorder while 16 people have already been charged with in excess of 26 offences. 
If you want to send pictures, video or intelligence to the task-force then you can do so by emailing operationbenelli@northumbria.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101 and asking to speak to the Operation Benelli team.