Warning to illegal scrambler bike riders during coronavirus pandemic
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We are warning illegal scrambler bike riders tempted to take to the roads during the coronavirus pandemic.
With a reduction in general calls to the police, the force has been able to put more officers on the streets to proactively stop criminals from engaging in anti-social behaviour such as the riding of scrambler bikes.
Across Merseyside, community police have been backed by the Road Policing Unit to patrol key areas on motorbikes, and have deployed police quad bikes in harder to reach off road areas.
And the Force has benefited from its strong relationship with City Watch, who track scrambler bikes on CCTV images from across Liverpool – even all the way back to where they are being stored so that police can seize them.
City Watch are also able to deploy mobile cameras to areas such as parks and fields in response to specific reports, enabling police to gather evidence and further assisting in the tracking of the moment of the bikes.
With more people spending time at home, we are asking members of the public who may have new information about people near them storing the vehicles to contact police so we can take them off the streets.
In the past seven days, 12 bikes have been recovered by officers – at 10.30am on Wednesday (1 April), a blue Kawasaki (pictured) was seized after it was spotted being ridden on Borough Road, Wallasey by a male who did not have a licence and was not displaying a correct number plate.
Superintendent Gary O’Rourke said: "We are aware of a number of incidents involving scrambler bikes since restrictions on travel were brought in by the government, and thanks to information from the public we have seized 12 bikes in the last week.
"Reports of scrambler bike incidents in March were actually slightly down on the previous year, but we will not be complacent at a time when it would be more reckless than ever for riders to take to the streets.
"Anyone riding a scrambler bike at speed or in an anti-social manner on our roads, particularly without a helmet, risks causing themselves and others serious injury.
"Only on Sunday, a woman in her 30s was struck by a scrambler bike on Otterspool Road, and left with serious arm and facial injuries. Following that incident a 16-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle, and three off road bikes seized.
"Not only is the riding of these bikes non-essential travel, if you hurt yourself or others it could put an additional strain on the health service at a time when they could really do without it.
"Those who store and ride scrambler bikes dangerously on our roads and pavements are reckless at the best of times, but especially so during this period when the country needs to pull together to support our NHS, our key workers and essential public services.
"I want those in our communities who know where these bikes are being stored and who is riding them to help the national effort to protect the NHS and public services by letting us know, so we can take them off the streets and out of the hands of criminals."
Supt O'Rourke added: "With more people spending time at home, they may become aware of activity or neighbours storing scrambler bikes which they would not normally see.
"I appeal to those people and anyone else with information about where these bikes are being stored to do the right thing and contact us."
Anyone with information on scrambler bikes can contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their website here: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously