A man from Dunstable has called for Bedfordshire Police to do more to about the anti-social behaviour by off-road bikers in the town.
The resident, who does not wish to be named, recently moved to Dunstable from London and says that he has witnessed the problem grow from a couple of bikers to large groups causing problems.
He said: “Over the last few weeks it has got worse here, they drive around with no helmets. I have heard that they are threatening young people in Houghton Regis, robbing them and, if they don’t hand over what they have, they threaten to stab them.
“I moved from London where we saw the problem grow, muggings on bikes is a big problem there. I have seen these bikers mount the pavements where mums are walking pushing their babies in prams, it is dangerous.
“If the police don’t take action now and nip it in the bud it will only get worse. The police should give them harsher punishments. I have seen how the problem gets worse if action is not taken, it will only get worse if the police don’t put a stop to it now.”
The concerns have been raised following the incident in Dunstable last week when four masked riders threatened passers-by and threw rocks at people outside the Gary Copper pub, on Sunday afternoon.
Community Inspector Craig Gurr, from the Dunstable and Houghton Regis community policing team, said: “We understand the issue of off-road bikes is upsetting and worrying for the community and we would like to reassure the public that we’re committed to finding those responsible, as well as reducing the risk of any similar incidents in the future.
“Our Operation Meteor team is regularly deployed into the key areas and acts as a deterrent to these nuisance riders. We tend to see an increase in such anti-social behaviour over the summer months and are committed to disrupting this activity. We continue to appeal for the support of the public to report all intelligence about nuisance and dangerous motorcyclists to us, so that we can continue to help build a picture of activity in the area and tackle those causing the issue.
“We haven’t received any reports of robberies or attempted robberies by nuisance riders and believe that the level of threatening behaviour in the incident in Grove Park last weekend was an isolated incident which is being investigated by a dedicated team of officers.
“We continue to appeal for information from anyone who witnessed the incident or captured any dashcam or mobile phone footage that could assist our investigation to get in touch. A 19-year-old man from Houghton Regis was arrested in connection with the incident and has been released under investigation.
“Investigating, tackling, and preventing nuisance and dangerous motorcyclists continues to be a priority for our community teams and we act on intelligence and information we receive.
“We urge anyone who has witnessed such activity but has not contacted us to get in touch.”