Agenda item

Off road bikes


Chief Inspector Wendy Tinkler, Cleveland Police and Dale Metcalfe, Operational Community Safety Manager (Middlesbrough Council) will be in attendance to provide information on Off road bikes, Operation Edmonton and strategies in place to tackle the situation in Middlesbrough.



The Chair welcomed Dale Metcalfe, Operational Community Safety Manager (Middlesbrough Council) to the meeting to discuss the issue of Off road bikes. The Panel had also hoped to hear from Chief Inspector Wendy Tinkler, however due to unforeseen circumstances, she was unable to attend and would be in attendance at the next meeting to provide a police prospective.


The Manager advised that he would provide information of what the council have been doing and what they can do (from a council perspective ). The issue of off road bikes is effectively a police issue, as under the Road Traffic Act they are able to prosecute and take action.


The Council are instrumental in what is known as 'Operation Endurance', a scheme that aims to crack down on  nuisance riders and motorists initially in the Cleveland areas. The Scheme is led by Cleveland Police, however works with partners, including Middlesbrough Council and Thirteen. From the Council, Neighbourhood wardens and community safety officers will join forces with the Road traffic team to crack down on this issue.


Under the Road Traffic Act 1988;


It is illegal to drive or ride a mechanically propelled vehicle without lawful authority on common land, moorland or land not forming part of a road, or on any road which is a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway.


The manager provided the panel with an example of where Operation Endurance had been effectively.


On Sunday 7th August, it is estimated over 100 persons gathered across various locations in Middlesbrough on off and on road bikes, cars and quads.  A subsequent “ride” out commenced where the group rode to Marske via the Trunk Road, Eston High Street and Redcar in convoy before returning to Middlesbrough where they dispersed. 


Some of the bikes/quads were ridden in a dangerous and anti- social manner with footage being shared across various social media sites. Middlesbrough Council have worked with Cleveland Police to identify these individuals (around 45 individuals) and action has been taken in relation to arrests and bikes involved seized. The Council's CCTV was used in this operation, along with private residents’ footage. A panel member queried how many of the individuals were from Middlesbrough, and this question would be addressed by Cleveland Police.


It is known that several railing fences were cut down by the offenders in order to gain easy access to “cut through” points for the intended route. These have now been repaired by Middlesbrough Council with additional target hardening methods put in place to prevent/ reduce the risk of this happening again in the future. In terms of new estates, Cleveland police are involved from the off set to see if there are any possibilities to include bollards/ traffic calming measures, however any measures need to ensure they meet DDA compliance.


In terms of supporting the police, the Council have measures in place through the Statement of Policy and Procedures for Antisocial Behaviour to assist and there are 5 strands:


Stage 1; warning letters,

Stage 2; Second warning letter

Stage 3; joint interviews (with parents and perpetrators), contracts and anti-social behaviour agreements

Stage 4; Final warning

Stage 5; fixed Penalty Notices and penalty notices for disorder /parenting Orders, Noise Abatement Notices, Civil Injunctions, CPN’s, Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) and Criminal Behaviour Orders for offenders with criminal behaviour linked to antisocial behaviour


These measures may not follow these stages, however quite often with younger people, the stages must be built to support evidence in Court especially for example, in supporting to put an anti-social injunction (ASI) on an individual.


 Statement of Policy and Procedures for Antisocial Behaviour, paragraph 4 identifies the importance of the Neighbourhood Safety Wardens and Neighbourhood Safety Officers, advising that:


The teams gather and receive intelligence and evidence from a variety of sources, i.e. resident diary sheets, Ward Members, Police AS13 data and Neighbourhood Safety Warden incident reports. As front line officers they will quickly identify emerging trends, hotspot locations and perpetrators responsible. As a result, the team play a crucial role in the Active Intelligence Mapping (AIM) process where officers are often identified as “problem owners” due to their co-ordinated multi-agency approach when tackling the issues.  This in essence is a huge part of Operation Endurance.


Following the information, the following areas were discussed:


·        Use of SMART water- codes linked to an officer and under UV light, the unique code is identified (this would be address with Cleveland Police)

·        Identification of individuals ( clothing/ different processes)- further information to be provided by Cleveland Police

·        Education to young people- Cleveland Fire brigade- school liaison officers provide sessions to show the risks of riding off road bikes.

·        Continue to push messages through social media for the public to report off road bikes.

·        Would be wonderful if all bikes could be registered to an address, however this may not be possible.

·        Hot spots and AIM- motorcycle riders are asked to remove their helmet in petrol station forecourts.

·        Many residents like to remain anonymous, which is fine, however council do like to provide feedback / action undertaken to residents.

·        Cleveland Online report APP (COPA)- a free app where off road bikes can be reported,

·        Section 59 warning signs and effects of this.


The panel were encouraged by the information provided and looked forward to receiving further information from Cleveland Police at the next meeting.


AGREED- That the information be noted.