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Officers across Merseyside have seized 171 scrambler/off road bikes, and arrested 35 people, as part of a summer crackdown on the illegal and anti-social use of off road bikes.
The eight week initiative, which took place throughout the summer, targeted riders of bikes who have a complete disregard for decent, law-abiding members in their communities. Particular attention was paid to areas identified by communities as hotspots for riders involved in the illegal, or anti-social use of scramblers.Neighbourhood officers in all of the Basic Command Units (Liverpool North, Liverpool South, Wirral, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley) were supported by officers from the specialist Matrix team, Roads Policing Department, Vehicle Crime and the mounted and dog sections.

Superintendent Paul White, who was in charge of the initiative, said: “Operation Brookdale demonstrates the Force’s commitment to tackling the criminal and anti-social use of scramblers or quad bikes.

“Working together with local people and partner agencies, we are determined to tackle riders who are blighting our neighbourhoods. Our communities should be reassured that Merseyside Police is working hard to take nuisance vehicles, and and the criminals who use them, off our roads.”

He continued: “In the last eight weeks we have seized 171 bikes, 122 of which were stolen and a further 18 are believed to be stolen. We have also arrested 35 people across the county for various offences including theft, handling of stolen goods, unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle, drink drive, dangerous driving, assault, burglary and robbery.

“171 bikes can no longer be used on the streets of Merseyside and since the start of the operation we have seen calls in relation to the anti-social/nuisance use of bikes reduce from 249 (in the first week of the operation) to 132 in the last week of the initiative – a 46 per cent reduction, which means a lot of people will be seeing the benefits of quieter streets and less crime.
“During the campaign officers visited schools to educate and inform young people about the risks of using this type of bike and we will continue to work with young people in the coming months.
“I would like the take this opportunity to thank the communities that assisted and supported us during the operation. Hopefully their lives are a little more peaceful as a result of this activity.”
Nicky Woods, the mother of Liam Clark who was seriously injured when two off-road motorbikes collided at the Dream sculpture in Sutton Manor, St Helens, last September, said: “To me the seizure of 171 bikes by the police in the last eight weeks means that there were 171 incidents where there was potential for someone to suffer the same fate as Liam did 12 months ago. The removal of these bikes means that the risk for another 171 families has been removed from the streets. Nobody should suffer like Liam has in the last 12 months and I hope that the police will continue to target the people who ride these bikes illegally on our roads and put others’ lives in danger.”

Whilst Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “These figures show that Operation Brookdale has been a fantastic success.

“I have repeatedly heard from members of the Merseyside public that the illegal and anti-social use of motorcycles and quads is an issue that concerns them. This force-wide crackdown has directly addressed and tackled this problem.

“By taking these vehicles off our roads and footpaths and by arresting those responsible, Merseyside Police have made all our communities safer. Such a dramatic fall in the number of complaints to the Force during the campaign is overwhelming evidence of the operation’s success and is testament to the skill and dedication of the officers and staff at Merseyside Police.”

The operation was also supported by all five local authorities in Merseyside. Councillor Peter Brennan, Mayoral lead for community safety and Chair of Liverpool’s Community Safety Partnership Citysafe, said: “Scrambler bikes can cause a huge amount of disruption in our communities. It has been proven that they are often used in crimes and they can be extremely dangerous. The statistics from this operation speak for themselves and demonstrate clearly the value of carrying out a crackdown. We fully support and back Merseyside Police in their pursuit to rid our communities of these bikes which are used in anti social behaviour.”




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