Three motorbikes were crushed after being seized by police because their riders were causing a nuisance to residents.
Legislation allows the police to serve riders a Section 59 notice if they are riding in an anti-social or dangerous manner and ultimately to seize the bikes and destroy them if the problem persists.
Off-road nuisance and dangerous riding of motorcycles is one of the single biggest generators of anti-social behaviour complaints to the police in Houghton Regis and Dunstable.
The problem has been targeted by pre-planned operations, under the codename Meteor, but if possible police will also take spontaneous action. The three bikes crushed at Ampthill Scrap Metal last week were all the result of spontaneous action in response to residents calling police.
Two were seized in Houghton Regis after suspected riders were found by Police Community Support Officers and denied being responsible. They were also unable to prove ownership of the bikes so these were confiscated by the PCSOs. The other was seized after people abandoned it and ran off, leaving the bike behind.
“Unfortunately, we can’t always pursue these motorcyclists immediately because it is too dangerous or because they have gone prior to police arrival,” said Sgt Linda Wilson of the Local Policing Team.
“However, by members of the public providing information such as names, addresses, photographs where safe to do so, or where the vehicle may have been previously, we can build up a picture of the offenders and take appropriate action
“That’s what enabled us to seize and destroy these three bikes. Although the riders of these particular bikes were youths, many of the photographs we have been sent by residents show grown men who are old enough to know better, some even riding with small children on the bike with them.
“In these circumstances, when such individuals are identified, we have been liaising with Social Services because of the danger they are putting their children in.
“Riders need to realise that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable. Not only is it an offence, but it is also extremely dangerous for others.
“These riders need to understand that if they ride their motorbike on a path, park or anywhere else that they shouldn’t be, they will receive a warning or have their motorbike seized and possibly destroyed.
“If you ride on a public road, your machine needs to be licensed and complying with all road legislation such as correct insurance, MOT, lights and helmets. If you are on the road and are not complying you will be dealt with for motoring offences.”